After report of Kite deal, CEO of Glimcher resigns

WP Glimcher Inc. said this week that Michael P. Glimcher has resigned as chief executive officer and vice chairman as the shopping-center landlord reviews its business.

Louis G. Conforti, a board member who has been global head of strategy at Colony Capital Inc., will become interim CEO, the real estate investment trust said Monday in a statement. The company said it expects to record a charge in the second quarter tied to the management changes and the investigation of strategic alternatives.

The Columbus, Ohio-based WP Glimcher—which owns 118 shopping centers across the U.S.—also said it plans to propose a name change, to Washington Prime Group Inc., to shareholders at its Aug. 30 annual meeting. WP Glimcher was formed when the REIT then known as Washington Prime Group—a spinoff of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc.—acquired Glimcher Realty Trust in January 2015.

The company is shaking up its management as shopping malls come under pressure from the rise of e-commerce and a shift in consumer spending habits.

Reuters reported earlier this month that the Ohio-based company was in talks to merge with fellow retail landlord Kite Realty Group Trust, based in Indianapolis. WP Glimcher said June 13 that it was “not currently in negotiations involving a merger or other strategic alternatives with a third party.”

“During the next few months, the focus is straightforward: maximize current cash flow of the company,” Conforti said in Monday’s statement. “The bottom line is that we’ll be rolling up our sleeves and concentrating on the basics of our business.”

The company also will review its portfolio composition, Conforti said.

The predecessor company to Glimcher Realty Trust was founded by Glimcher’s father, Herbert. Michael Glimcher joined the company in 1991 and became CEO in 2005.

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