The Real Deal New York

Dissident Morgans shareholders in talks as board vote looms

Ron Burkle had kept distance from Kerrisdale, which nominated new directors slate
May 09, 2014 09:00AM

Morgans Hotel Group shareholder Ron Burkle is in talks with Kerrisdale Capital’s Sahm Adrangi, a fellow shareholder who recently nominated a fresh slate of directors. Burkle, of the Yucaipa Companies,  previously appeared to keep some distance distance from Kerrisdale, though he does support its nominees.

Adrangi tapped Andrew Zobler, a partner with Yucaipa on joint ventures, to serve as an adviser. The shareholders will decide whether to oust the current board of directors at Morgans’ annual meeting, set for May 14.

Burkle and Adrangi support selling the Morgan Hotel chain right away. That view conflicts with that of Morgans CEO Jason Taubman Kalisman, who plans to hold off for at least one year before selling. Investors are not likely to vote in favor of Kerrisdale’s new slate due to an alleged lack of experience, as previously reported.

Morgans operates  boutique hotels in South Beach, San Francisco, Las Vegas, London, Moscow, Istanbul and other cities, including the Mondrian, Hudson, Morgans and Royalton in New York.

Jason Taubman Kalisman took over as interim CEO of the Morgans Hotel Group following Michael Gross’ resignation last year. He and Burkle have been fighting for control of the chain ever since. Burkle owns Morgans’ debt and preferred shares. [NYP]Mark Maurer