WSJ: Activist Litt said to ask Taubman to consider sale

Kara Wetzel
Bloomberg L.P.

Jonathan Litt, the activist investor known for targeting real estate companies, is pushing for mall owner Taubman Centers Inc. to cut costs or consider a sale, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Litt wants the company to narrow what he sees as a gap between its share price and the value of its malls, the Journal reported Tuesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. He plans to take his campaign public after privately meeting with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert S. Taubman over the summer, the newspaper said.

A spokesman for Litt’s investment firm, Land & Buildings Investment Management, declined to comment. His firm owns about a 1 percent stake in Taubman Centers, the Journal reported.

Taubman Centers “welcomes open and constructive dialogue toward the goal of enhancing long-term value,” the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based landlord said in an emailed statement. The company “is successfully executing on a clear strategic plan to own, manage, develop and acquire high-quality retail properties.”

Taubman Centers has 24 malls across the United States, including high-end destinations such as the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey and Beverly Center in Los Angeles. The stock has fallen 7.2 percent this year, the worst performance in a Bloomberg index of regional mall owners.

Litt is currently involved in activist campaigns at MGM Resorts International and NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc. He last year sought changes to the board of mall owner Macerich Co., which later agreed to add independent directors and end a stockholder rights plan.

Beth Jinks contributed to this report.