JMB Capital Partners LP, which holds 2.45 million shares in real estate investment trust Maguire Properties Inc., has requested that the company create an independent committee to explore a sale and give the New York-based investment firm two seats on the company's board.


JMB disclosed Tuesday that it now holds a 5.2 percent stake in the Los Angeles-based commercial property owner, which is Downtown L.A.'s largest landlord. JMB said it upped its stake because the shares are undervalued.


Maguire Properties announced late last year that it was mulling a sale of the company, a plan it backed away from in February, booking a charge of $3.5 million during the first quarter for exploring "strategic alternatives," the company said then. Maguire has also reported five-straight quarterly losses.


JMB said in a letter to Maguire's Chief Executive Robert Maguire that while the company boasts an "irreplaceable" portfolio, its shares are deeply discounted due to "weak corporate governance" and $20 million in excess expenses per year.


JMB also called on Maguire to separate the chairman and CEO positions and void any agreements that would prohibit prospective buyers from pursuing the company. JMB's stake makes it the ninth-largest investor in the company, according to Bloomberg data.


Shares in Maguire shot up 4 percent to $29.96 in early trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares are off 28 percent so far this year.

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