The company that owns Wells Fargo Tower, U.S. Bank Tower, and other prominent downtown high-rises is hearing from real estate firms that include Brookfield Office Properties, Colony Capital, and Thomas Properties Group, the WSJ is reporting. MPG Office Trust, formerly known as Maguire Properties, is considering either an outright sale or a cash infusion. There's no assurance that MPG will move forward (the company has tested the waters before), but if anything does happen it will be huge news for the local commercial real estate business. MPG is the largest landlord in downtown L.A. From the Journal:
"The timing to raise equity or sell the company is very good," said John Guinee, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Because MPG has downsized significantly from its sprawling 2007 size--it has handed numerous buildings in the suburbs as well as downtown over to lenders--that makes the remaining buildings centered in the downtown more appealing to would-be buyers, he said. MPG's advisers have indicated to potential buyers that they want the company to sell above the share price. That price recently has hovered around $3 a share, down from more than $44 in early 2007, with a market capitalization near $160 million. In addition, any buyer would likely have to take on the heavy debt load tied to the downtown towers, which MPG earlier this month reported was nearly $2 billion.