Macy’s adds real estate CEO to board to help with property plans

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Macy’s Inc. named Four Corners Property Trust Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bill Lenehan to its board, enlisting a real estate expert to help the chain figure out what to do with its properties.
The 39-year-old will join the board on April 1, the Cincinnati-based company said in a statement. Lenehan, who became CEO of Four Corners last year, has previously worked at such firms as MI Development and Farallon Capital Management LLC.
Macy’s is looking to sell portions of its flagship stores in Manhattan, San Francisco, Chicago and Minneapolis, as well as mall-based properties. Tishman Speyer is interested in taking stakes in the locations, and Macy’s has been searching for a real estate executive to oversee the effort. Some investors have urged the department-store chain to go further and form a real estate investment trust, or REIT, but Macy’s has rejected that idea.
Real estate is “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,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in the statement. “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.” Activist investor Starboard Captial, which has been pushing for Macy’s to better capitalize on its properties since July, said the retailer’s real estate is worth $21 billion. That’s more than the company’s current enterprise value. Another investor, Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn, has said he could see a private equity firm teaming up with a REIT to buy the company.

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