Grubb & Ellis Co. agreed to sell substantially all of its assets to BGC Partners Inc., a global intermediary to the wholesale financial markets and owner of Newmark Knight Frank, one of the largest commercial real estate services firms in the United States. BGC will purchase Grubb & Ellis’ senior debt and provide incremental financing for the transaction.

Grubb & Ellis intends to execute the deal as an asset sale under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and has started Chapter 11 proceedings with the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, simultaneously requesting approval of sale procedures and a hearing date to approve the sale. BGC has agreed to provide debtor-in-possession financing to the firm to support Grubb & Ellis’ operations throughout the sale process so the company expects the case will not interfere with business.

“Following a thorough and rigorous process and the evaluation of all available options, we determined that a partnership with BGC provides the best platform for our brokerage professionals, employees and clients,” said Grubb & Ellis President and CEO Thomas P. D’Arcy in a statement. “We believe the transaction will be seamless for our clients and we expect no disruption to the company’s operations. Furthermore, we believe our professionals and clients will benefit greatly by being part of the BGC organization, which, with its recent acquisition of Newmark Knight Frank, will bring together two strong brands to create a powerhouse in the commercial real estate space.”