Proxy Fight at CBRE Realty Finance Avoided

A brewing proxy fight between Arbor Realty Trust Inc. and CBRE Realty Finance has been averted, according to the two parties.As previously reported by CPN, Arbor Realty, in a move widely seen as part of a takeover bid, had been planning to field a slate of its own candidates at CBRE Realty Finance’s still-unscheduled 2008 annual  stockholders meeting. Arbor Realty is currently a majorshareholder in CBRE Realty Finance.Under the terms of the agreement, Arbor will not only withdraw its alternate slate, but it will vote as a shareholder for all of the CBRE Realty Finance board’s director nominees at the annual meeting. In return, according to a statement issued by CBRE Realty Finance today, “if its board during the next 12 months begins a process of seeking proposals for the acquisition of all or substantially all of the common stock or assets of the company, Arbor will be afforded the opportunityto participate in such a process.”Though CBRE added that it is “not required to run any process of this type,” it seems likely that the REIT opted for the prospect of an orderly takeover by Arbor, rather than be the subject of a hostile takeover.CBRE Realty Finance has been through rocky times with the onset of the credit crisis. For the fourth quarter of 2007, the company reported a lost of $17.8 million, or 59 cents a share. The REIT has also quit new investment activity, citing “adverse market conditions,” and there is concern about its ability to refinance its debt.