Artis REIT reaches deal with private equity firm seeking changes, CEO to retire

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WINNIPEG — Artis Real Estate Investment Trust says four trustees have tendered their resignations and both its chief executive officer and chief financial officer will retire as part of a deal reached with private equity firm Sandpiper Group which sought changes at the trust.

Under the terms of the agreement, Artis chief executive Armin Martens will retire effective Dec. 31 and chief financial officer Jim Green will retire after the trust's 2021 annual meeting of the unitholders.

Sandpiper's slate of five nominees, including Sandpiper chief executive Samir Manji, will join two of the existing trustees — Ben Rodney and Lauren Zucker — to make up the new board.

Artis proposed a plan in September that would see it spin off its retail portfolio into a new real estate trust and focus on its North American industrial and office businesses. 

Sandpiper opposed the plan and said it would cut costs and increase distributions if it won its fight to replace the Artis board. 

Jetport Inc., the trust's largest unitholder, had said it would vote in favour of the Sandpiper board nominees at a meeting set for February.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.

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The Canadian Press