CommonWealth REIT Issues Statement Vigorously Opposing Corvex, Related's Attempt to Take Control of Co.
CommonWealth REIT (NYSE: CWH) today issued the following statement in response to the notice by Corvex Management LP and Related Fund Management, LLC (“Corvex/Related”) of their intention to undertake a new consent solicitation following the Arbitration Panel's ruling last week that Corvex/Related's earlier consent solicitation was invalid:
We are disappointed, but not surprised, that Corvex/Related are undertaking a new consent solicitation to remove our Trustees without cause and we intend to vigorously oppose their effort. For almost ten months, Corvex/Related have caused disruption to CWH's business while they relentlessly pursue a hostile takeover of the company. While it is likely that this new effort by Corvex/Related also will be disruptive to CWH, the Board and management remain focused on conducting CWH's business in the best interest of all shareholders.
CWH remains focused on implementing its strategic plan, which involves repositioning the company's portfolio towards high value office buildings located in urban and downtown locations and disposing of suburban properties and other non-core assets. We have made good progress in this effort during the last year. As of November 6, 2013, we have sold 38 of 40 non-core properties identified for sale at the beginning of the year; the remaining two properties are under agreement and are expected to be sold by year end. In September, we announced a plan to sell an additional 45 non-core properties, which we expect to be sold by mid-2014. Upon completion of these sales, the large majority of CWH's portfolio will be located in higher value central business district, or CBD, locations, which we believe will drive value for all shareholders in the future.
After meeting with many of our shareholders over the last few months, we have also committed to several corporate governance changes, including amending the management agreement with our manager to further align management's financial incentives with returns realized by CWH's shareholders and increasing the size of our Board with the addition of new Independent Trustees. We have made significant progress implementing these changes and expect to make related announcements in the near future.
It is the Board's and management's view that Corvex/Related do not have any plan for CWH other than to disrupt its business and seize control of the company for short term gains and their separate benefits. We are confident that shareholders will support the Board in the upcoming consent solicitation because it has demonstrated a commitment to acting in the best interest of all shareholders.
CommonWealth REIT is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, which primarily owns office buildings located throughout the United States. CWH is headquartered in Newton, MA
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