MPG Office Trust's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

MPG Office Trust, Inc. (MPG)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 1, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Peggy Moretti - Head, IR

David Weinstein - President and CEO

Fred Chin - Acting COO

Chris Norton - Head of Transactions

Jeanne Lazar - CAO

Analysts

Jordan Sadler - Keybanc Capital Markets

John Guinee - Stifel

Erin Aslakson – Stifel

Jed Reagan – Green Street Advisors

Wilkes Graham – Compass Point

Andrew Sole - Esopus Creek Advisors

Gordon Watson - GLG Partners

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the MPG Office Trust Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, this call is being recorded today, May 1, 2012.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Peggy Moretti of MPG Office Trust. Please proceed.

Peggy Moretti

Good morning. During the course of today's call, management will make forward-looking statements regarding, among other things, projected 2012 results of operations, leasing, competitive conditions, financing, and cash. The company's projections are affected by many factors outside of its control. For a discussion 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, maybe accessed in the Investor Relations section of the MPG Office Trust website at www.mpgofficetrust.

And now, I would like to turn the call over to David Weinstein, our President and Chief Executive Officer.

David Weinstein

Good morning, and thank you for joining our first quarter 2012 call. Fred Chin, our Acting Chief Operating Officer, along with Chris Norton, our Head of Transactions; and Peggy Moretti, our Head of Investor Relations. I'm also pleased to have with me Jeanne Lazar, our new Chief Accounting Officer.

The company continues to make progress toward non-core assets and did so during and subsequent to the first quarter of 2012. On February 2, two trustee sales of our Glendale assets, 700 North Central and 801 North Brand were completed. As a result, the company was relieved of $103 million of debt including the $27.5 million mortgage loan secured by 700 North Central and the $75.5 million mortgage loan secured by 801 North Brand. In addition, MPG received the general lease of claims under the loan documents for these assets pursuant to previously negotiated agreements with a special servicer.

On March 23rd, MPG and the special servicer cooperatively placed 2 California Plaza into receivership. We are presently working with the special servicer towards an orderly exit from this asset. While there is no assurance that a successful resolution will be achieved whether MPG will be fully released we remain optimistic.

On March 30, the company completed the previously disclosed transaction among MPG, Charter Hall Office REIT and affiliates of Beacon Capital Partners LLC. This transaction include the sale of Wells Fargo Center in Denver, San Diego Tech Center stripped development rights and the joint parcel land at San Diego Tech Center and certain fees payable to the company. The company received net proceeds of approximately $45 million which will be used for general corporate purposes.

As a result of this transaction a new joint venture was formed between the company and Beacon. This new joint venture owns interest in 1 California Plaza located in downtown Los Angeles, Cerritos Corporate Center located in Cerritos, California, and Stadium Gateway located in Anaheim, California.

Stadium Gateway was marked for sales and is currently under contract. Closing of this sale is subject to customary closing conditions including obtaining lender consent. If the transaction closes, net proceeds to the company are expected to be approximately $600,000 and will be used for general corporate purposes. While we expect this transaction to close during the third quarter there is no assurance that this will occur.

On April 10, MPG and the special servicer cooperatively placed Glendale Center into receivership. As part of the receivership the agreement between the parties provides for cooperative foreclosure and a general lease of claims under the loan documents for MPG at the conclusion of the foreclosure. The foreclosure is expected to occur during the third quarter of 2012 but there can be no assurance that this will occur.

On April 19, we disposed the Brea Corporate Place and Brea Financial Commons pursuant to deed-in-lieu foreclosure. As a result of the disposition we're relieved of the obligation to pay the $109 million mortgage loan secured by these properties and received a general lease of claims under the loan documents for these properties.

As to leasing, during the first quarter 2012, we completed new leases and renewals for approximately 64,000 square feet including our pro-rata share of our joint venture properties. Notable leasing highlights including new 40,000 square foot ten year lease with Towers Watson, a global professional services firm by One California Plaza. Towers Watson is a new tenant to downtown Los Angeles. The new lease consolidates Towers Watson's space in the universal city of Century City into its new downtown location.

Turning to our cash position as a of March 31, 2012 we had $212.8 million of cash on hand, excluding cash related to assets in the fall. $166.7 million is unrestricted and available for general corporate purposes.

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