Colony invests $18M in Grubb & Ellis

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Grubb & Ellis, the commercial real estate brokerage that announced in a regulatory filing earlier this month that it was considering a sale or merger, has just received an $18 million shot in the arm from Colony Capital, the private equity firm owned by billionaire Thomas Barrack. According to Bloomberg News, the financing is part of an agreement under which Colony will explore the possibility of a larger investment during an exclusive, 60-day negotiating period. As it said in the regulatory filing March 21, Grubb & Ellis has hired JMP Securities to help it weigh “strategic alternatives.” At the time, the company was valued at $68 million, but in the days since the announcement, its value has dropped to $52 million. This wouldn’t be the first major real estate investment for Colony in recent months: the firm also recently paid $30 million for a minority stake in Sam Nazarian’s boutique hotel firm. [Bloomberg]