Maguire no longer considering sale

From Times Staff Reports and Bloomberg News

Maguire Properties Inc., downtown Los Angeles’ largest office owner, said Tuesday that it had dropped plans to consider a possible sale even as the takeover of landlords Equity Office Properties Trust and Mills Corp. had sparked bidding contests.

The L.A.-based company said it was no longer pursuing “strategic alternatives.” No reason was given for the decision. Maguire said it took a fourth-quarter charge of $3.5 million, or 7 cents a share, for costs incurred to consider options.

Maguire, the owner of downtown’s 72-story U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast, has been the subject of takeover speculation for months. The company before Tuesday hadn’t commented on reports of a possible sale in REIT Newshound and other publications. In the meantime, competition for real estate investment trust takeovers has become heated.

Chief Executive Robert F. Maguire III and spokeswoman Peggy Moretti didn’t immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.


The announcement, issued in an earnings statement, was made after the close of regular U.S. trading. Maguire shares rose 28 cents to $43.50. They have gained 29% in the last year, compared with a 34% increase in the Bloomberg REIT index.

Maguire said funds from operations for the fourth quarter were $28.5 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with $25.8 million, or 58 cents, a year earlier.

Without noncash losses on early extinguishment of debt, funds from operations for the latest quarter would have been 65 cents a share, Maguire said.

Funds from operations is a measure used by real estate investment trusts to define their operating performance. It is calculated by adding depreciation and amortization expenses to earnings.

That gives an idea of the REIT’s cash performance, which is a better measure of the REIT’s performance than earnings, which often include large noncash items.