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MPG Office Trust, Inc. (



Q1 2011 Earnings Call

May 10, 2011 11:00 AM ET


Jonathan Abrams – SVP, General Counsel and Secretary

David Weinstein – President and CEO

Shant Koumriqian – EVP and CFO


Jordan Sadler – KeyBanc Capital Markets

Suzanne Kim – Credit Suisse

Wilkes Graham – Compass Point

Aaron Asklexen – Stifel Nicolaus

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Michael Knott – Green Street Advisors



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Good morning. My name is Calando and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the MPG Office Trust First Quarter Earnings Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this call is being recorded today May 10, 2011.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Jonathan Abrams of MPG Office Trust. Please proceed, sir.

Jonathan Abrams

Good morning. Thank you for joining us for our first quarter 2011 earnings conference call. During the course of today’s call, management will make forward-looking statements regarding among other things, projected 2011 results of operations, leasing, competitive conditions, financing and cash.

The company’s projections are affected by many factors outside of its control. For discussions of such factors, please refer to the company’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K under the caption Risk Factors.

The forward-looking statements on today’s call are based on the company’s current expectations. MPG Office Trust does not intend to update these statements prior to our next quarterly earnings release, and we expressly disclaim any obligation to make any such update.

Our supplemental package, along with information required under SEC Regulation G, may be accessed in the Investor Relations section of the MPG Office Trust website at

And now I’d like to turn the call over to David Weinstein, President and CEO. David?

David Weinstein

Good morning. I am joined here by our CFO by Shant Koumriqian. I have some prepared remarks that discuss the company’s ongoing progress thus far in 2011. At the conclusion of my remarks, Shant and I will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding the company and its operating results.

Since our earnings call in March, we’ve continued to make progress with respect to our objectives of exiting non-core assets and improving our overall corporate liquidity position. We disposed of approximately 6.4-acre vacant land parcel located adjacent to 500 Orange Tower in Orange County that resulted in net proceeds to MPG of approximately $4.7 million.

We entered into an agreement with CWCapital as special servicer with respect to 500 Orange Tower. The agreement insulates us against potential claims, establishes a definitive outside date by which we’ll exit the asset and provides for cooperation in any sale of the asset. The outstanding principal amount of the loan on this asset is $110 million.

We transferred 701 North Brand in Glendale, California to the lender. We received modest cash proceeds in connection with the transfer and will continue to manage the asset on behalf of the lender for up to 18 months. We were relieved of $33.8 million of debt as a result of the transfer. We were relieved of $200 million of debt resulting from the sale of 550 South Hope by CWCapital, a special servicer. We have worked cooperatively with CWCapital on the disposition of this asset since our default in August 2009.

We placed 700 North Central and 801 North Brand, both located in Glendale, California into special servicing. It is premature to speculate as to the outcome on these assets at this time. We are close to completing the sale of the 350-room Westin Pasadena Hotel. A buyer has been selected and the buyer has completed its due diligence. The purchase contract has a non-refundable deposit in place.

We are pursuing approval of the buyer with the city of Pasadena. We expect the transaction to close within two weeks of that approval. Once we complete the sale, we intend to fully repay the $78.6 million loan that presently encumbers both the hotel and the 193,000 square foot Plaza Las Fuentes office building and retail components.

The net proceeds after the repayment of the loan will be disclosed once the transaction has been completed. There is no assurance that the buyer will be approved by the city of Pasadena or that the sale will close as expected. We are currently working with the lender to finance the Plaza Las Fuentes office building and retail components. The financing, which will occur after the closing of the Westin Pasadena sale, will generate significant additional net proceeds which will be used for general corporate purposes. While we are optimistic that financing will occur, there is no assurance that the financing will be completed.

As part of our overall corporate objective to initiate restructuring discussions involving our core downtown Los Angeles assets, we placed Wells Fargo Tower and US Bank Tower into special servicing, which occurred in March, 2011. This is a critical first step in order to have a meaningful dialogue with lenders. We also sent an immediate default notice on Gas Company Tower in March. The master servicer is still completing its analysis of the asset. None of these assets are in default. Our goal of these assets is to achieve a successful modification to loan agreements. There can be no assurance that we’ll be successful.

As you may recall, we placed two California Plaza into special servicing at the end of 2010. We are now on default under that loan. It is premature to speculate as to the outcome on this asset. As to corporate liquidity, we continue to aggressively monitor, and where possible, enhance our corporate cash position. We are prudently managing cash, so that is available for leasing, capital expenditure requirements, and other general corporate purposes.

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