Proxy Firms Recommend Three OTK Nominees to Morgans Board

Morgans Hotel Group Co. (MHGC) investors should vote for three of the seven board nominees put forth by the company’s largest stockholder, OTK Associates LLC, according to two shareholder-advisory firms.

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended votes for Jason Taubman Kalisman, Mahmood Khimji and Jonathan Langer, according to separate statements today from Morgans and OTK. Glass Lewis & Co. advised voting for Kalisman, Khimji and John Dougherty at the annual meeting, scheduled for June 14.

OTK, owner of about 14 percent of Morgans’s shares, is seeking to overhaul the board after the company reported losses for every quarter since 2007. New York-based Morgans has said it would nominate six candidates for its seven-person board, keeping an OTK representative as a director.

“We are very pleased that both ISS and Glass Lewis recognize that change is urgently needed on the Morgans board,” Michael Olshan, a founding member of OTK, said in a statement.

Morgans climbed 13 percent yesterday after saying it had received five expressions of interest in a takeover. The company’s board nominees would consider a sale if they are re-elected, the hotelier said yesterday in a statement.

“ISS correctly identified significant deficiencies in OTK’s full slate of nominees that make them unfit to act as an effective board and incapable of representing the interests of all shareholders.” Morgans Chief Executive Officer Michael Gross said in a statement today.

The stock climbed 4.9 percent today to $7.90, a two-year high. Morgans operates boutique hotels including the Delano in Miami’s South Beach and Royalton in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Louis in Chicago at blouis1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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