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BEVERLY HILLS-The William Morris Agency has sold three headquarters office buildings totaling nearly 183,000 sf to a South American investment group as the talent agency plans a move, according to brokers from Cushman & Wakefield and Grubb & Ellis who arranged the deal. The properties, which are located within one block of the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, include a 70,842-sf building at 150 S. Rodeo Dr. and two buildings totaling 111,807 sf at 150 and 151 S. El Camino Dr.

The William Morris agency was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Southern California Capital Markets Group led by managing director Marc Renard and Eric Duncanson, and co-brokered by Neil Resnick of Grubb & Ellis Co. Other members of the C&W team were Stephen Algermissen and Manfred Schaub. Grubb & Ellis notes that Resnick has represented the Morris Agency for more than 20 years and brought C&W into the deal.

According to Renard, the transaction, demonstrates “the continued commitment by off-shore investors to deploy capital into irreplaceable real estate in high barrier-to-entry US markets that provide compelling long-term investment fundamentals.” The buyers were a consortium of high-net-worth investors from South America that were advised by Cape Horn Group LLC principals Eduardo Romero and Eduardo Covarrubias in cooperation with Lincoln Property Co., represented by executive vice president David Binswanger. Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman in conjunction with Draper and Kramer secured the debt for the transaction which was provided by Switzerland-based UBS and New York City-based Brickman & Associates.

William Morris, which is building a new headquarters in Beverly Hills, put its current offices on the market in January at a time when the commercial real-estate market was still relatively buoyant. The office complex attracted 18 offers, many from overseas. The selling price of about $760 per sf was close to the initial asking price, brokers said.

The William Morris Agency, the largest and most diversified talent agency in the world, has owned and occupied the majority of the three buildings for more than 30 years. According to WMA’s chairman and CEO, Jim Wiatt, the company’s expansion and planned relocation in approximately two years to a new, larger headquarters presently under construction in Beverly Hills was the catalyst behind our decision to sell.

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