BGC Partners on Friday said it renamed its newly integrated real estate unit as Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, following the completion of its acquisition of Grubb & Ellis. BGC, led by Cantor Fitzgerald chief executive Howard Lutnick, said it has added about 50 new brokers to the combined business in recent months, in addition to the acquisition of the Grubb & Ellis employees.
The combined company now has offices in more than 100 cities in North America and manages about 250 million square feet of commercial space.
A Manhattan federal bankruptcy judge previously approved BGC’s acquisition of Grubb & Ellis’s assets, after the struggling brokerage filed for Chapter 11 protection in a pre-planned arrangement that included the sale to BGC.
A previous analysis by The Real Deal of the asset purchase agreement in Bankruptcy Court filings estimated the base purchase price at about $49.5 million, plus additional amounts, likely in the millions of dollars .
Grubb had been struggling for months after losing significant amounts of business after the 2008 collapse of the global real estate market and had been in talks recently with investor Andrew Farkas’s C-III Capital on a possible deal.
Grubb had lost a large number of brokers over the past year to rival firms, as they continued negotiations on various rescue plans. Just last month, Grubb’s vice chairman Henry Goldfarb and senior managing director Stanley Lindenfeld left to join Lee & Associates.
BGC has been on an acquisition spree in recent years, buying up the former Newmark Knight Frank brokerage in 2011.
Meanwhile, also on Friday, Jones Lang LaSalle announced that it hired the former retail brokerage team from Newmark Knight Frank.