Real estate expert appointed to board at Macy’s

by Jonathan Adams

William Lenehan, an expert in real estate investments, was appointed to board at Macy’s Inc (M.N) amid investor pressure to monetize its real estate assets.

Shareholder Starboard Value LP has been pressuring Macy’s since July to spin off its real estate assets, which the hedge fund estimates are valued at about $21 billion.

The assets include – Herald Square and Union Square stores in New York – two landmark properties of Macy’s.

It was not exploring formation of a real estate investment trust, but was seeking partnerships or joint ventures for its flagship and mall-based stores, Macy’s had declared in November.

It is now in partnerships with Tishman Speyer and Starwood Capital Group for selling some floors of its downtown Seattle store and Fulton Street store in Brooklyn.

Lenehan, 39, heads Four Corners Property Trust Inc (FCPT.N), the business which was separated by Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N) into a real estate investment trust in November.

Starboard led a coup in 2014 to replace Darden’s board and spin off some of its restaurants and other properties into a REIT.

Macy’s Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said in a statement on Tuesday, “Bill will contribute to our board’s expertise and working knowledge on matters related to real estate, an important area of activity as we work to create shareholder value through joint ventures or other partnerships”.

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