William Morris Sells Office

William Morris Agency raked in $143 million by selling its Beverly Hills headquarters complex Sept. 26.

That’s about $783 a square foot, or roughly twice the average price for a posh Los Angeles-area office building.

The property dates to the early 1950s and is located on a corner near the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. It was put on the market in January and attracted 18 offers, bringing in close to the initial asking price, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The 182,000-plus-square foot, three-building complex was purchased by a consortium of South Americans led by Chilean investors along with Lincoln Property of Dallas, which has a minority stake, according to the paper.

“We are extremely happy with the properties,” Eduardo Covarrubias, a co-founder of Cape Horn Group of Chile, told the Los Angeles Times.

“They give us ideal protection from inflation at a time when there is turmoil in the financial sectors. We’re putting our money into hard assets that are going to preserve their value.”

The deal was financed in large part by debt, with Swiss bank UBS AG and New York-based private equity firm Brickman providing 65 percent of the sale’s value, the Journal noted.

WMA will remain a tenant at the current site until 2010, when it will move about 400 employees into a new six-story headquarters, according to the Times.

An environmentally friendly building is under construction on nearby North Beverly Drive. The new building will include restaurants on the ground floor and a private movie theater that will seat as many as 200 people.

The new owners plan to rent the offices after WMA relocates.

“The space is immaculate,” David Binswanger, who heads Lincoln Property’s L.A. office, told the Times. “William Morris is very image-conscious.”