GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Public Storage (NYSE:PSA) (the “Company”) today announced that it has appointed Michelle (“Meka”) Millstone-Shroff and Rebecca Owen to its Board of Trustees (the “Board”) and has named David Neithercut as Lead Independent Trustee. In addition, Public Storage announced the establishment of an advisory Long-Term Planning Committee (the “Committee”) of its Board of Trustees focused on Public Storage’s long-term planning, strategy, growth, capital allocation priorities and capital structure management.
These actions follow substantive engagement with the Company’s shareholders, including funds advised by Elliott Investment Management, L.P. (“Elliott”). In connection with today’s announcements, Public Storage and Elliott have also entered into a Cooperation Agreement, Elliott has withdrawn its nominees to the Board and related nomination and cumulative voting notices and will be supporting the Board’s Trustee nominees at Public Storage’s upcoming Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Public Storage and Elliott have also entered into an information sharing agreement to facilitate continued dialogue in preparation for the Company’s previously announced Investor Day that will be held on May 3, 2021.
In connection with today’s Trustee appointments, lead independent trustee Gary E. Pruitt has retired from the Board.
With respect to the new Long-Term Planning Committee, Joe Russell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Storage, will chair the Committee, which will initially comprise: Leslie Heisz, Michelle Millstone-Shroff, Shankh Mitra, David Neithercut, Rebecca Owen, and Joe Russell.
The appointments of Ms. Millstone-Shroff and Ms. Owen as independent Trustees will advance the Company’s Board refreshment efforts and further foster a diverse Board with a combination of skills, experience, and personal qualities that will best serve the Company’s shareholders. The Board also considered Elliott’s input regarding the benefits of Board enhancements and skillsets of potential nominees in its appointment of highly qualified independent Trustees Shankh Mitra, David Neithercut, and Paul Williams in December 2020.
“We welcome Meka and Becky to the Board and look forward to working with them as we take action to drive long-term value creation,” said Ronald L. Havner, Jr., Chairman of the Board. “Today’s actions will accelerate our company’s ongoing, comprehensive process to refresh the Board and further improve corporate governance. We are pleased to have collaborated with Elliott and other shareholders in connection with these actions. We also expect the new Committee to build on the progress Joe and his team have made since he took on the CEO role to reinvest in the Company’s existing portfolio, implement new technology to enhance customer experience, drive organic growth, accelerate external growth, and expand third party management.”
“At Public Storage, we value the views of our shareholders, and welcome their input toward our common goal of enhancing long-term value,” said Mr. Russell. “The Company has strategic priorities focused on growth and is executing a clear strategy to drive sustainable value creation. We are reinvesting in our existing portfolio and delivering innovations to improve the customer experience and reduce costs. We are well-positioned to capitalize on our growth opportunities, and the Board and management team will continue to work together to deliver enhanced shareholder value.”
“Public Storage has the best platform in the self-storage industry, and we share the Board and management team’s conviction in the Company’s ability to capitalize on its leading franchise,” said Johannes Weber, Portfolio Manager at Elliott. “We believe the changes announced today will position the Company for significant growth and are pleased to have helped the Company identify corporate governance improvements and to have worked constructively with the Board and management to reach this result. We look forward to the Company’s Investor Day and its strategy to drive sustainable value creation.”
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Gary for his many contributions to Public Storage throughout his tenure,” continued Mr. Havner. “We appreciate his leadership and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as financial advisor to Public Storage, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal counsel.
Michelle Millstone-Shroff, age 45, has served as an independent advisor to various businesses since November 2018, and has served as a Senior Advisor to a top-tier global management consulting firm since April 2019.
Ms. Millstone-Shroff previously served as the Chief Customer Experience Officer of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) (“Bed Bath & Beyond”), a chain of domestic merchandise retail stores, and as the President & Chief Operating Officer of buybuy BABY (“BABY”), a subsidiary of Bed Bath & Beyond and the nation’s leading retailer of items for infants and toddlers. She also served as the Chief Operating Officer of BABY. Prior to Bed Bath & Beyond, Ms. Millstone-Shroff worked at McKinsey & Company, with a focus on retail- and consumer-oriented companies.
Ms. Millstone-Shroff has served on the boards of directors of Neiman Marcus Group Inc. (NYSE: NMG.A) since September 2020, Nanit, a private technology company, since December 2019, and Party City Holdco Inc. (NYSE: PRTY) since February 2019.
Ms. Millstone-Shroff holds a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Management from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Pennsylvania.
Rebecca L. Owen
Rebecca L. Owen, age 58, has served as chair of the board of directors of Battery Reef, LLC, a commercial real estate investment and management company, since she founded the company in January 2019.
Previously, Ms. Owen served in various roles at Clark Enterprises, Inc. (“Clark Enterprises”), a private investment firm, and its affiliated companies, including as Senior Vice President and as Chief Legal Officer of Clark Enterprises, Chief Investment Officer of CEI Realty, Inc., and President of CEI Realty, Inc.
Prior to her work with Clark Enterprises and its affiliates, Ms. Owen practiced as a Commercial Real Estate and Corporate attorney at law firms Sheehey Furlong & Behm and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (f/k/a Shaw Pittman Potts and Trowbridge). Ms. Owen has served on the board of directors of Carr Properties, a private real estate investment trust, since 2013, and on the Real Estate Investment Advisory Committee of ASB Capital Management, LLC, an institutional real estate investment firm, since January 2017.
Previously, Ms. Owen served on the boards of directors of WillScot Corp. (NASDAQ: WSC), Jernigan Capital, Inc. (NYSE: JCAP), and Columbia Equity Trust, Inc. (formerly NYSE: COE). Owen has also served on the boards of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, from 2006 to 2020, and Horizons National Student Enrichment Program Inc., since January 2017. Ms. Owen received a Juris Doctorate from University of Chicago Law School and Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Hamilton College.
Public Storage, a member of the S&P 500 and FT Global 500, is a REIT that primarily acquires, develops, owns and operates self-storage facilities. At September 30, 2020, we had: (i) interests in 2,504 self-storage facilities located in 38 states with approximately 171 million net rentable square feet in the United States, (ii) an approximate 35% common equity interest in Shurgard Self Storage SA (Euronext Brussels:SHUR) which owned 239 self-storage facilities located in seven Western European nations with approximately 13 million net rentable square feet operated under the “Shurgard” brand and (iii) an approximate 42% common equity interest in PS Business Parks, Inc. (NYSE:PSB) which owned and operated approximately 28 million rentable square feet of commercial space at September 30, 2020. Our headquarters are located in Glendale, California.
Additional information about Public Storage is available on the Company’s website at PublicStorage.com.
Thumbnail: Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash
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