The Real Deal New York

Heiberger says he will buy Joe Sitt out of Town stake

Move comes amid legal battle between Wendy Maitland and Sitt

June 22, 2016 09:44AM
By Katherine Clarke

From left: Andrew Heiberger and Joe Sitt (illustration by Lexi Pilgrim)

From left: Andrew Heiberger and Joe Sitt (illustration by Lexi Pilgrim)

Town Residential founder and CEO Andrew Heiberger intends to buy co-owner Joseph Sitt out of his 50 percent stake in the company, he told company employees Wednesday in an internal email seen by The Real Deal.

“It is no secret that Joe Sitt and myself are in late-stage negotiations whereby I will be buying Thor Equities’ stake in Town,” Heiberger said in the email. “So far our discussions have been amicable and both sides are in full agreement that this is in the best interests of Town. I am elated and extremely optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead for us all and cannot wait to share the news when the closing occurs.”

Sitt is in the midst of a legal battle with Wendy Maitland, Town’s former president of sales, who has accused him of starving the company of funds and “financial chicanery,”  saying his actions caused Town to lose business, default on rent payments and become a far less valuable company.

Heiberger said in the email he hoped a deal would help the company “move past this latest and last wave of distractions.”

When contacted by TRD, he declined to comment on the terms of a potential deal, calling it “premature.” A spokesperson for Sitt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s been common knowledge among Town brokers for years that the partnership between Heiberger and Sitt was like an alliance in “Game of Thrones”: fractious and fickle.

In 2014, the situation between the two came to a head when Sitt refused to renew Heiberger’s contract as CEO, claiming Heiberger had failed to meet the financial targets the two agreed to when Thor first invested in 2011, and that he had not seen any return on his investment.

Heiberger contended that Sitt had passed up a prospective deal to sell the company for a “nine-figure number” to a brokerage firm later revealed to be Savills and therefore had only himself to blame for the failure to reap rewards from his investment.

The two men settled the matter out of court.

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