Steven Roth loses his touch as the cycle turns

|By:, SA News Editor

Vornado Realty Trust (VNO +2.1%) - run by Chairman and CEO Steven Roth - has made headlines for recently exiting its J.C. Penney stake at a $250M loss, but there's also Toys 'R' Us, which is not publicly owned and proving more difficult to sell.

Vornado paid $428M for its stake in 2005, and Green Street Advisors estimates to be worth no more than $200M now.

Yes, the retailers haven't done well, but Vornado is also a victim of its own success. Roth built Vornado into a giant by exploiting the real estate owned by retailers - starting with a struggling New Jersey hardware chain in 1980, continuing onto bigger deals like Alexander's in the mid-90s, and McDonald's and Sears in the last decade. What fund isn't doing this nowadays? Values are simply harder to come by.