The Real Deal New York

Zell, Helfand on ballot for CommonWealth REIT board

February 11, 2014 05:43PM

Sam Zell

Sam Zell

Investors looking to overthrow the board of U.S. office landlord CommonWealth REIT, a real estate investment trust, have added billionaire Sam Zell to the list of nominees who could replace the current leadership, currently under fire for alleged mismanagement.

Zell and Equity Group Investments co-president David Helfand would join a group of nominees at a special shareholder meeting to elect new directors of the board, if the current board is successfully removed, according to a statement from Corvex Management LP and the Related Companies, investors in the REIT.

“We are fully supportive of Corvex and Related’s efforts to maximize value at CommonWealth for all shareholders,” Zell said in a statement cited by Bloomberg News. “We see an attractive opportunity at CommonWealth uniquely suited to our expertise in leading public real estate companies and in turning around underperforming assets.”

A Zell and Helfand-affiliated entity would, upon the duo’s nomination, have the option to acquire as many as four million CommonWealth shares, according to the statement. The two, who are not currently stockholders, would serve as chairman and chief executive officer respectively.

Shareholders with voting power are slated to vote Feb. 18, according to Bloomberg News. [Bloomberg News]Julie Strickland

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