Maguire Properties Inc. has two Australian real estate investment trusts bidding heavily on a $1.1 billion portfolio it is selling.

Macquarie Office Trust and DB Rreef Trust are competing to form a joint venture with Maguire to own the portfolio, according to a report today in The Australian newspaper.

Unidentified sources told the newspaper that a buyer could be chosen within several weeks and that representatives from both companies will be inspecting the properties starting Monday.

Robert Maguire, chairman and co-chief executive of Maguire Properties, declined to comment on the substance of the newspaper report. However, he added, "We love being in the Australian market. We have been very pleased with the response to our portfolio."

Maguire is putting the properties on the block to reduce the company's high leverage ratio (the highest in the office REIT sector) after it paid $1.5 billion for the 10-building Commonwealth Partners LLC portfolio.

The properties in the Maguire portfolio include One California Plaza in downtown L.A., the San Diego Tech Center, the Washington Mutual Campus in Irvine, the Wells Fargo Center in Denver and the Cerritos Corporate Center.

Under the terms of the deal, the portfolio will be transferred to a joint venture that will be majority-owned by the Australian buyer, with Maguire retaining a 20 to 30 percent stake and management of the buildings.

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