updated 1/11/2007 10:34:28 AM ET 2007-01-11T15:34:28

The New York-based private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management is preparing an offer for Equity Office Properties Trust, the nation’s largest office landlord, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter, reported Wednesday on its Web site that the company could launch its plan within a few days. Further details of the transaction were not available and the offer still might not materialize, the newspaper reported.

Cerberus would have to beat the $19 billion offer from the New York-based Blackstone Group to take Equity Office private. Blackstone also is taking on close to $17 billion in debt, giving that deal a total value of $36 billion, which Blackstone said will be the largest private equity transaction ever.

Spokesmen for Cerberus and Blackstone both declined to comment Wednesday. Messages left with Equity Office after business hours were not immediately returned.

Chicago-based Equity Office owns 580 U.S. buildings totaling more than 108 million square feet in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Its properties include WorldWide Plaza in Manhattan, the Civic Opera building in Chicago and Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest tower.

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Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.95%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.19%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.58%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.40%
13.40%
Cash Back Cards 17.92%
17.91%
Rewards Cards 17.12%
17.11%
Source: Bankrate.com