Zell Seeks to Oust Portnoys From Commonwealth Board

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March 18 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg’s Betty Liu reports on Sam Zell facing off against Adam and Barry Portnoy to oust them from the board of the Commonwealth REIT on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

Both of them.

It is adam and his father, barry portnoy.

The two of them run a real estate investment trust.

The $6 million fund has office properties all over the u.s., one in philadelphia, by the way, the one in millon center.

There is a shareholder fight.

Activism is very uncommon in the real estate world.

Why is that, by the way?

You would like to think they are nicer.

Property owners have been in the business for decades.

It is a gentlemanly type of -- trust me, it is ruthless as well, but in terms of outsiders coming in and trying to oust the board, which is what is happening here, that is not very common.

Basically, zell has teamed up with jeff blau of related, and keith meister.

And by the way, blau and meister have a 10% stake in this company.

They are saying that the portnoy's are using the commonwealth to enrich themselves through an asset management company that manages the commonwealth.

It is a little bit convoluted.

It is complicated.

They are saying this is all to the detriment of the shareholders.

I had jeff blau on our program last week.

This is how he got them -- sam zell involved.

We called him and said, what are you be our proposed chairman if we were to win the fight -- why don't you be our proposed chairman if we were to win the fight?

He called back and said that he is actually very busy, but this is so important to him, proper governance and is roll as a leader in the industry, that he has to do this.

He views this as an obligation to make change and fix the governance practices that are were occurring here.

Because guys, the money at stake for zell -- i'm in, this guy is worth $4 billion.

We are only talking about a 90 million dollars taking commonwealth.

That is nothing.

It is a drop in the bucket am a but he is doing it because he feels the retail industry is directly linked to him.

Hang on.

He's just doing this to be a good person?

He is doing this because -- yes, in a nutshell.

Now he looks like a nice guy.

The portnoy say this is ridiculous.

They say them -- sam zell is only in it, they claim, for the money.

But they have listened to shareholders, they say, and they have looked at options including declassifying the board.

I talked to sam zell on the phone.

What he said he would do if he came into this company and became the chairman, he said he would go ahead and internalize management, get rid of the bylaws that disenfranchised shareholders.

Just like equity residential, his own.

There is no strategy to it and we would correct that.

And of course, the portnoy's, they say that is not true and they have implemented their own strategy and given time, it will work.

It feels like carl icahn all over again.

Sam zell and carl icahn have worked together.

They are buddies.

There you go.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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