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Activist Colony Capital shareholder seeks to oust pro-Trump CEO

Nov. 26, 2019 9:10 AM ETDigitalBridge Group, Inc. (DBRG) StockDBRGBy: Carl Surran, SA News Editor27 Comments
  • Colony Capital (NYSE:CLNY) shareholder Blackwells Capital says it will nominate five candidates, including a replacement for CEO Tom Barrack, for election to Colony's board at the upcoming 2020 annual shareholders meeting.
  • Blackwells, which owns a 1.85% stake in CLNY, says Barrack's ties to Pres. Trump represent "significant personal distractions that are a blemish on the reputation of the company."
  • Barrack already agreed to hand over the role to a successor, Marc Ganzi, in 2021, but that's not enough for Blackwell, noting that Ganzi is Barrack's friend.
  • Barrack helped chair Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee, which has been investigated by federal authorities.
  • "It appears Mr. Barrack has used friendship and politics as criteria for business deals and for allocating shareholder capital," Blackwells says, citing Barrack's ties to Rick Gates, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
  • CLNY +2.2% pre-market.

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Comments (27)

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Pinguino Investments profile picture
Ironic that a guy named Barrack is Trump's bud.
Interesting that the preferreds have been dropping recently.
Would love to see a substantial common stock repurchase with the industrial proceeds. CLNY is about to launch three new digital funds per the last conference call, so calling for the replacement of Ganzi at this juncture seems questionable, especially given his track record and proven ability to raise substantial amounts of institutional capital. I expect that the company already has one or more acquisitions earmarked with the pending industrial sale proceeds as well. Personally I love the digital strategy and believe Ganzi is capable and impressive (I'd rather have someone like him than a polished public markets guy).
CLNY is very very cheap! Load up now.
What did you pay ? And why is it cheap ?
... qtr, I would not wait around the mgmt to unlock value which everyone knows exists. Happy there’s a push for change here.
Agree! Plain and simple, CLNY has failed its investors. I’m lucky enough (if you will) to have purchased my shares just under $5. If not for the fat dividend checks every
So the Resistance opens a new front in their war to overturn the 2016 election. You can make the case of ousting Barrack due to his performance without dirtying it up with politics. Sad our country has come to the point where we are trying to cancel people over who they associate with. I can't support this they way it was presented.
Pinguino Investments profile picture
I don't really see what this has to do with overturning the election.
Only 1.85% ownership? That's weak. Up it 10 fold and let's talk!
Bill Stoller profile picture
Marc Ganzi is a digital infrastructure "Jedi" and is the only reason to own CLNY shares for a 24-month double -- while collecting an attractive dividend yield.
Mr George Stobbart profile picture
@Bill Stoller

On July 25, Colony announced the acquisition of Digital Bridge and a plan to appoint its CEO, Marc Ganzi, as CEO of Colony upon Mr. Barrack’s retirement.  Mr. Barrack has known Mr. Ganzi for decades and regularly plays polo with Mr. Ganzi at the Aspen Valley Polo Club (which itself is sponsored by Mr. Ganzi).  Mr. Barrack has admiringly said that Mr. Ganzi has “created a polo paradise” with the Aspen Valley Polo Club.  Just one week before the announcement of the $325 million acquisition of Digital Bridge, on Friday, July 18 – a workday for most people – Mr. Barrack was playing polo at 11 AM in Aspen in a tournament that included Mr. Ganzi.

The personal relationship with Mr. Ganzi was undeclared.

Mr. Barrack’s use of the Company’s resources and relationships to foster his personal ambitions to serve as an ambassador or to benefit his political connections (such as Mr. Gates) or friends (such as Mr. Ganzi) appear to violate Section 3 of Colony's Ethics Code.
Bill Stoller profile picture
I have interviewed Marc Ganzi in the past, (as well as CEOs of Digital Bridge data center platform companies: DataBank (retail/colo) and Vantage (wholesale /hyperscale) in my research for Data Center Knowledge articles.

Ganzi is highly qualified to lead a digital infrastructure REIT, has a history of growing and building profitable companies, and he will have 10,000,000 reasons to focus on doubling the price level of CLNY shares to $10+ per share.

So, he is both qualified and aligned with shareholders.

The fact that he has made enough money to sponsor the Aspen Valley Polo Club should NOT be held against him. Many deals get done at high-end golf courses and Country Clubs. My sense is the ability to access global capital markets (both public and private) -- which is the lifeblood for a digital infrastructure REIT -- is enhanced by his polo club "networking." My $0.02
Lbntuk__5 profile picture
I’m confused. So is Mark Ganzi going to replace Tom Barrack or not?

From the article it seems that Blackwell is looking for a different CEO other than Mark Ganzi, but how realistic is that? Will Blackwell really be able to get a different CEO?
20/20Dividends profile picture
about time... we don't need his friend replacing him....TY Blackwells.
My issues with Colony management aren't Trump related, rather they are mismanagement related. Massive write-downs and losses over the past few years thanks to Hamo and his pirates have become consistently bad Quarter after Quarter. Some new board members to shake up the company could be just what we need.
Absolutely true. Performance is the issue and should be front and center to protect shareholder interests.
Agree without reservation.
darnoc111 profile picture
The Mueller investigation was a sham. Even Mueller didn't know what was in his own report. This is a very poor excuse to remove someone for.
Please take your BS eleswhere. Barrack has certainly earned the scrutiny. The company has been poorly managed.. Just look at the continued and repeated losses for years. all the while having management pay themselves handsomely.
darnoc111 profile picture
@Seeking out theTruth You are right about the continued losses, which need to stop. My point is to remove the politics involved here. There is no reason to use his support of Trump as a reason to remove him. And your commenting supports my contention.
That Nut head and his cronies should have been kicked out long ago!!

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