Sam Sotoodeh’s Acquisition Group Purchases News & Observer Building

Sam Sotoodeh, Acquisition Group, News & Observer Building

The patience that enabled Sam Sotoodeh, and his company Acquisition Group, to pursue an interest in the News & Observer building in North Carolina’s capital persisted under his leadership as its president. With praise for the city, he expressed confidence in the opportunities that it offers “to grow and do well.”

An agreement with the owner of the newspaper’s building for $22 million transferred the ownership of the stately downtown structure to the Acquisition Group after previous efforts had failed. Sam Sotoodeh described his California-based investment company and its partners as “patient investors.” By the time they succeeded in acquiring the property, they had made numerous attempts to obtain it.

Acquiring the News & Observer Building

Local investors declined an offer to purchase the site for $20.2 million in early 2017, opening the way for the Acquisition Group to make a deal with media owner McClatchy Company for the sale. The newspaper’s new headquarters remain in the downtown area while Sotoodeh’s company works with city officials to develop the former location into a mixed-use project that benefits everyone. On concluding the transaction, Sotoodeh expressed pleasure in working with the McClatchy team in a smooth transition to expanding his company’s investments in and ownership of the new project. As the president and publisher of The News & Observer, Sara Glines echoed his enthusiasm. She said that working with “Sam Sotoodeh and his AG team” has made her newspaper’s move to more contemporary workspace a reality.” The newspaper’s relocation a short distance to the 17-story One City Plaza changes its home base from the 3-acre site where it started in 1907 and a building that the company built in 1967.

The relocation gives the newspaper new space on two floors, and one of them faces the street on ground level where the community can observe “local digital journalism in the public interest.” Glines views it as an opportunity to enjoy “office space that supports journalistic flexibility and collaboration.” The change in location and facilities “makes it easy to engage with the community,” she said. The Wall Street Journal cites the increase in some property values from the transaction. It points to a turnaround in the downtown Raleigh market, according to the broker of the sale of the 29-story Two Hannover building. The structure stands as a twin to the one that houses the new space for the News & Observer. Sotoodeh heads a group of Californian and German investors who bought it in a 1993 bankruptcy auction. The building’s value increased sharply as it “becomes more of a hip place.”

Complementing the Community

Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina
Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina

Sotoodeh’s company has holdings in the United States with operations in Raleigh, Los Angeles and Santa Ana, and it has locations around the world. His depth of knowledge of international business and its development enables Sotoodeh to lead the Acquisition Group’s diversified investment operations in South America, Europe and North America. He used his leadership skills in the Raleigh negotiations, winning praise from the president and publisher of the Raleigh News & Observer. The company’s investments in oil and gas, real estate and securities require offices around the world, including other properties in Raleigh.

With the sale of the property that had provided space for the newspaper’s offices, the Acquisition Group can execute its plans to redevelop the site. In its location next to Nash Square, the paper’s former home occupies an area of Raleigh that advocates for the advancement of downtown development consider ideal for the “next boom.” The site enjoys association with advantageous locations on two sides, and local representatives have optimistic views of its developmental potential. One adjacent area has popular bars, restaurants and shops that feature an attractive ambiance. A warehouse district on another side has an ongoing and massive redevelopment project in progress, and the community hopes to see the former News & Observer building provide a significant boost to the community. Under the inspired leadership of Sam Sotoodeh, the new development can enhance the existing projects and lead the way to a renewed downtown for Raleigh.

Now as president of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, Orage Quarles promotes the interests of the city, but he published the News & Observer for more than 16 years. His experience qualifies him to express opinions on the history of the building where he led the paper’s investigative reporters and ensured coverage of the city’s events. His estimate of the potential for the “future of the Nash Square area” presents an optimistic view. Quarles regards the property that Sotoodeh’s Acquisition Group purchased as “the premier location regarding downtown.” From a perspective that lets him view the plans for the warehouse district and those that can occur on the former newspaper site as a boost for the local economy, he thinks “it all ties together.” Sotoodeh and his team worked closely with community leaders to measure the level of support and acceptance that the introduction of a mixed-use project may provide. By listening and responding with thoughtful and careful consideration, he achieves success in dynamic projects around the world.


Read: N&O reaches deal to sell downtown Raleigh headquarters


Preparing for a Leadership Career

The studies that Sam Sotoodeh undertook to get ready for a challenging career of leadership in a complex financial field were difficult and demanding. At the California State University in Orange County’s Fullerton, he attended the state’s largest educational institution in the system. He earned a BA in Economics as the foundation of a career that involves investments around the world. In his quest for a quality education that he needed for the demanding future that he anticipated, Sam Sotoodeh chose Cornell University for his Masters in Business Administration.

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management provided an opportunity for Sotoodeh to experience access to powerful educational and research activities that enhanced his areas of interest. As an ultimate step in acquiring knowledge for the journey that he envisioned for his life as a leader in business. Sotoodeh studied at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He used the opportunity for demanding and challenging postgraduate study to learn negotiation techniques that may have played a significant role in obtaining the News & Observer building for his Acquisition Group. A global leader in management education, Cornell provided access to leadership in distinctive thought.

Respecting Worldwide Business Contacts

Sam Sotoodeh travels the world and develops deals on many continents, treating everyone with respect and understanding. His privately held Acquisition Group offers access to diversified investments in international business development, real estate, oil and gas, arbitrage and securities investments with operations in South America, Europe and North America. In its real estate pursuits, the company seeks properties such as the former home of the News & Observer in Raleigh that provide superior returns for investors with a minimum of risk. The focus of the company’s equities division seeks cooperative partnerships with highly qualified investors with an emphasis on placing funds in arbitrage, value investing and hedged investments.

The company leverages its global advantages that enhance the supply of oil and gas, wood textiles and food products. Sotoodeh’s Acquisition Group expertise in brand management and international business development forms joint ventures with domestic and foreign partners to support import and export activities in global markets. Ownership of ranches and farms facilitates the production of crops and livestock. The company provides consulting and advisory services that support corporate merger and acquisition transactions under his stellar leadership.


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Haley Thompson

About Haley Thompson

Haley is a journalist with over 10 years of experience in the field. She has held many editorial roles at a number of high-profile publishers – both offline as well as online.

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