CBRE Realty Finance Accepts Arbor Slate for Stockholders Meeting

According to CBRE Realty Finance Inc., a slate of candidates for its board of directors proposed by stockholder Arbor Realty Trust Inc. will stand for election at the company’s as-yet unscheduled 2008 annual stockholders meeting. Previously there was some question as to whether Arbor had filed the slate in time, with Arbor eventually filing suit about the matter. Hartford, Conn.-based CBRE Realty Finance has apparently decided that the matter isn’t worth going to court over. In a statement released late yesterday afternoon, company president and CEO Kenneth J. Witkin, noted, “Our board of directors decided we have better things to do with our company’s money and resources than litigating something like this.” Uniondale, N.Y.-based Arbor, a mortgage REIT, has made a number of unsuccessful bids recently to acquire CBRE Realty Finance, also a mortgage REIT. According to filings Arbor made with the Securities and Exchange Commission in November, Arbor offered an $8 per share stock-for-stock offer for CBRE Realty Finance last summer, and reportedly tried again in the fall. Currently, Arbor owns about 9.4 percent of the company. On January 22, Arbor sent CBRE Realty Finance an open letter questioning whether the company’s November assertion that it has no non-performing loans in its portfolio was still the case. “Additionally, we would like to know whether your comments of November 12, 2007, ‘We have no non-performing loans in our debt portfolio, … and overall [I] am personally satisfied with the current performance of our core portfolio’ are true and correct currently or need to be updated to not omit material facts in light of the current market and circumstances,” the letter said. In particular, the letter cited defaults or potential defaults on loans held by CBRE Realty Finance on the Drake Hotel and the Macklowe Equity Office Property portfolio. “The continued deterioration in the market makes it difficult to believe that your November 12, 2007 statement that your $77 million ‘joint venture assets are performing satisfactorily…’ is correct,” it continued.