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Commonwealth REIT and Corvex Management's Feud Continues

By Tim Brugger - Apr 18, 2013 at 5:08PM

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The real estate investment trust and its second biggest shareholder are digging in for a battle.

In an on-going effort to oust the board of directors of Commonwealth REIT (EQC 1.90%), its second largest shareholder, Corvex Management, recently forwarded a record request date to Commonwealth management. The latest request by Corvex follows an earlier consent solicitation proposal in late March. Corvex's ultimate objective of the shareholder meeting is to "remove all of CWH's Trustees without cause," according to a Commonwealth press release issued today.

One point of contention mentioned by Commonwealth in its release is the April 22 consent solicitation date proposed in the latest Corvex request. According to Commonwealth, the REIT's declarations of trust and company bylaws give its board the authority to set a date with shareholders, and they have 30 days from the receipt of a "valid request" in which to do so.

Commonwealth's release also claims the inquiry from Corvex is missing corroborative evidence that the shareholders included in the request have owned at least 3% of Commonwealth stock, and have held their shares at least three years. Nor does the consent solicitation include "any cause for the removal of CWH's Trustees," according to Commonwealth.

The recent struggles between Commonwealth and Corvex for control of the board comes on the heels of a Feb. 27, 2013 solicitation by Corvex to acquire Commonwealth for $24.50 a share. Commonwealth subsequently rejected the Corvex offer, suggesting it was too low based on recent valuations. 


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