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Macy's names REIT expert to board amid pressure to sell off real estate


Macy's has added an expert in real estate investments its board as the department store retailer remains under pressure from an activist investor to spin off some of its real estate into a real estate investment trust.

William H. Lenehan, president and CEO of Four Corners Property Trust, has been elected to the Macy’s Inc. board, effective April 1.

"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 related to Macy’s flagship stores and mall properties,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and CEO, Macy’s. “Bill’s perspective is rooted in his real estate experience in a variety of industry sectors, including net lease, restaurants, mall, office, residential, and mixed-use.”

Lenehan, 39, has extensive knowledge and experience in real estate development and management. He was named president and chief executive officer of Four Corners, a publicly traded investment trust focused on foodservice real estate, in August. Previously, he served as special advisor to the board of EVOQ Properties, Inc., owner of a substantial portfolio of development assets in downtown Los Angeles; interim CEO of MI Development (now known as Granite Real Estate Investment Trust), a real estate operating company; and investment professional in the real estate group of Farallon Capital Management LLC, a global asset management firm.

Activist investor Starboard has been pushing for Macy’s to better capitalize on its properties since July, Bloomberg reported, with Starboard putting the retailer’s real estate worth at $21 billion.

The election of Lenehan and that of Frank Blake in November increases the size of the Macy’s, Inc. board to 15 members. Two board members, Meyer Feldberg and Joseph Neubauer, are scheduled to retire at the Macy’s, Inc. Annual Meeting of Shareholders on May 20.

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