Atlas JV to buy LA property owner

The New York-based real estate fund manager is teaming with Square Mile to acquire the publicly-traded EVOQ Properties.

Atlas Capital Group in partnership with Square Mile Capital Management has agreed to purchase EVOQ Properties, one of the largest property owners in downtown Los Angeles, for approximately $357.4 million. The deal, which Atlas struck on behalf of its Atlas Capital Investors III, is expected to close in October.

Stockholders in EVOQ, whose shares currently are traded on the OTC US exchange, will receive approximately $12.96 per share, subject to certain adjustments. The acquisition has been approved by the company’s board and its majority stockholder, MMPI Acquisition, a venture formed in 2011 by investment firm Mount Kellett Capital Management and private equity firm Global Asset Capital.

EVOQ’s property portfolio comprises more than two million square feet of existing properties and 13 acres of developable land in downtown Los Angeles. Its cornerstone asset is Alameda Square, a 32-acre creative office campus and one of the largest contiguous blocks of space in downtown Los Angeles. Originally built in 1917, Alameda Square was redeveloped by EVOQ in 2013. The property, which is home to a mix of fashion brands and technology companies, is located in the up-and-coming Arts District neighborhood.

The acquisition of EVOQ would help to diversify the real estate holdings of Atlas and Square Mile, which currently lack a significant presence in the US gateway city of Los Angeles. Atlas, for example, currently owns just one asset in Los Angeles –  a 120,000-square-foot building at 963 East 4th Street, also located in the Arts District, according to the company’s website.

In February, EVOQ announced that its board had begun exploring and evaluating potential strategic alternatives, including the sale of the company. As of December 31, the company had approximately $36.7 million in cash.

Atlas Capital, founded in March 2006, invests in opportunistic and value-added real estate transactions globally and has formed strategic partnerships with institutional investors that co-invest alongside the firm. Its portfolio encompasses more than $2.5 billion of residential, office and retail assets in New York, Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Dublin.