Commercial real-estate firm Grubb & Ellis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it faces liquidity problems and $30 million in debt that matures on March 1.

Financial brokerage firm BGC Partners agreed to acquire the Santa Ana, Calif.-based firm with a $30 million credit bid.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday, the firm said it intends to make the "sale as expeditiously as possible" and continue to operate as a debtor-in-possession under jurisdiction of bankruptcy court.

Grubb & Ellis cited the loss of a major account, an ill-conceived merger and continued operating losses resulting from the economic crisis for its financial troubles in court documents filed Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

The New York Stock Exchange delisted the firm's stock in January. The stock fell well below $1 before the delisting. It now trades on the OTCQB, which does not have any financial or qualitative standards for listing.