Great Eagle Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong offered to buy the Century Plaza Towers office complex in Los Angeles for $515 million from Prudential Insurance Co. of America, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Great Eagle's bid for the property topped a $500-million offer from a real estate fund managed by J.P. Morgan Investment Management Co. and the $495 million offered by Chicago real estate investor Sam Zell.
A Prudential spokesman declined to comment other than to deny a report in newsletter Real Estate Alert that the insurer was in exclusive talks to sell the property to Great Eagle.
Executives at Great Eagle, J.P. Morgan and Zell couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
The 2.2-million-square-foot Century Plaza complex consists of 44-story twin towers, an underground parking garage with more than 5,000 spaces, and the ABC Entertainment Center complex.
Prudential and its 50% partner, Citicorp, hired real estate investment bank Eastdil Realty Inc. of New York earlier this year to help market the property.
Citicorp executives couldn't be reached for comment.
The deal is consistent with Newark, N.J.-based Prudential's strategy to replace some of its holdings of office and hotel properties with industrial and apartment properties. Prudential's real estate holdings total about $5.5 billion.
Some other high-profile properties Prudential has recently sold include the Smith Haven Mall on Long Island in New York and the Tycon Courthouse office complex in Vienna, Va.
Century Plaza is one of the most distinctive properties in the Los Angeles area and is often used as a backdrop in motion pictures. Its tenant list includes defense contractor Teledyne Inc. and several major law firms.
Prudential built the complex in the mid-1970s with its then-partner Century City Inc. The latter ran into financial problems and eventually gave up its interest in Century Plaza to a group of its lenders led by Citicorp.