REITS: Activist Bow Street Still Takes Aim at Board of Mack – Cali
REITs across the country are struggling due to the economic shutdown.
Social distancing has had a massive negative impact on their properties. During this time, that hasn’t stopped activist investors from swirling around the blood-soaked water.
REITs and Activists in 2020
Last year activist investor Bow Street won 4 seats on the Board of Mack- Cali (NYSE: CLI). This REIT invests in office and multifamily projects in the Northeastern United States.
Last week, Mack-Cali decided not to re-nominate those board members for a new term.
In their statement announcing the decision, Mack-Cali officials said the four had worked to blatantly promote Bow Street’s self-interest. The firm accused the activist firm of wanting to force a fire sale of the company as a whole or the assets one by one. Mack-Cali said selling would not be in the best interest of shareholders.
Bow Street is not going away quietly.
They released a statement accusing management of acting with blatant disregard for principles of corporate governance.
Bow Street Pushes Back
Akiva Katz and Howard Shainker, Managing Partners of Bow Street, replied, “In a deliberate and desperate attempt to mislead shareholders, the Board falsely insists that we are seeking a fire sale of the Company. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our capital is long-dated, and our sole objective is to maximize value at Mack-Cali. Like all shareholders, we expect accountability, performance, and directors who are true fiduciaries. Shareholders should be disgusted. The Board’s shameless attempt to stifle their voices is further evidence of the change required at the Company.”
The activist fund has also filed a proxy contest to nominate eight directors and take over the Board of Directors. In a letter to fellow shareholders, Bow Street said that Mack-Cali has received no less than five proposals to acquire the company since January. It says that the REIT has dismissed every offer. The team also said that the dismissals were particularly troubling in light of reports that William Mack, the Chairman of the Board, was attempting to take the REIT public to benefit himself and his family.
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