Director Resigns To 'Avoid Any Actual or Apparent Conflicts of Interest' In Business Dealings With Brokerage
Longtime Grubb & Ellis Co. director C. Michael Kojaian has resigned from the troubled Santa Ana, CA-based real estate services company.
Kojaian, a Michigan-based real estate investor who has served as director since September 1996, advised the company Feb. 10 that he was resigning from the board of directors "to avoid any actual or apparent conflicts of interest in connection with his fiduciary duties with respect to his affiliated companies in commercial transactions" with Grubb & Ellis, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Those affiliated companies, include Kojaian Holdings LLC, Kojaian Management Corp. and Kojaian Ventures LLC, investment firms based in Bloomfield Hills, MI, are clients of Grubb & Ellis, which provides management and transaction services.
As Grubb’s largest shareholder, Kojaian owned about 32.8% of the company’s common stock as of March 28, 2011. He served as chairman from June 2002 until December 2007 and again from January 2009 until last week. Kojaian also served as the chairman of Grubb & Ellis Realty Advisors, Inc., from its inception in September 2005 until April 2008, and as its CEO from December 2007 until April 2008.
Grubb & Ellis has struggled financially and was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 6. Negotiations with several prominent companies have failed to yield an agreement. The firm has lost a number of top producers and other principals and associates, most recently eight professional who left Grubb to join the Washington, D.C. office of Avison Young.