JAN 13, 2014 5:05pm ET

American Spectrum Realty Files Bankruptcy Petitions

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American Spectrum Realty has filed bankruptcy petitions in the Southern District of Texas as negotiations regarding three loans pertaining to four Houston commercial properties fell through with a private equity firm.

The unnamed private equity firm acquired the mortgages on these properties from the original lender, a Texas bank, last September and attempted to foreclose on the assets.

When ASR management was unsuccessful in restructuring the loans in a short time frame subsequent to the private equity firm’s acquisition of the loans, the joint bankruptcy petitions were filed to protect the rights of investors and creditors, according to American Spectrum Realty.

Three of American Spectrum Realty wholly owned subsidiaries—ASR-8 Centre LP, ASR-Parkway One & Two LP and ASR-Fountainview Place LP—own the four assets, and subsequently posted them for foreclosure when the deal broke down.

“Management had no alternative but to preserve shareholder equity in these projects other than to take legal action,” the Houston-based real estate investment, management and leasing company said in a press release.

American Spectrum Realty contends that the four assets have value in excess of the mortgages and other property payables. But discussions with the private equity firm did not produce a time frame in which ASR believed was inherent value in the properties.

“Consequently, the bankruptcy petitions were filed in a move to preserve current value and realize full potential value through either a plan of reorganization or orderly marketing and sale while American Spectrum Realty maintains control of the asset management and property management duties,” the company added.

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