Mack-Cali committee to consider sale ahead of stockholder meeting

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The board of directors at Jersey City-based Mack-Cali Realty is planning to form an independent committee to explore its strategic options, including a potential sale of the real estate investment trust, NJBIZ reported last week. Only 10 days after spurning activist investor Bow Street, the Mack-Cali board said it would extend offers to join its ranks to two individuals nominated by the New York-based firm: former Forest City Ratner president and CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin (now head of development firm L&L Mag) and French businessman Frederic Cumenal. At least one of them will be part of an independent committee, Mack-Cali said in a statement. Mack-Cali, which is being advised by the law firms Greenberg Traurig and Seyfarth Shaw, has been involved in a high-profile proxy fight with Bow Street for the past two months. Mack-Cali’s board rejected a $2.4 billion offer for the REIT from Bow Street in March. That offer would have resulted in the sale of what Mack-Cali called a “grossly inadequate price” for a number of its waterfront and suburban office assets, which would have been spun off into a new REIT. Mack-Cali, which in recent years has shaken up its management and pivoted toward office and multifamily investments, earlier this year unloaded a nearly $500 million portfolio in Westchester County. In a securities filing Tuesday, the REIT said that it had sold off non-core office assets with substandard rents. “The average rent profile of our remaining office portfolio is 53.4% higher than the disposition profile,” Mack-Cali said. As for Bow Street, it maintains change is needed at the REIT, which in recent weeks has touted the $2.1 billion in assets it has traded over the past three-and-a-half years and $2 billion in multifamily assets it has developed during that time. [NJBIZ]