Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. (NASDAQ:WHLR) ("Wheeler" or the "Company"), a fully-integrated, self-managed commercial real estate investment company focused on owning and operating income-producing retail properties with a primary focus on grocery-anchored centers, today has issued an open letter to its stockholders regarding the troubling associations and business practices of Joseph Stilwell. WHLR urges shareholders to vote for all of the Company's highly qualified nominees on the WHITE proxy card.
After his failed attempt last year, Joe Stilwell has launched another proxy fight to have himself and his two nominees elected to your Board.
- Prior to the 2018 proxy fight we offered a settlement to Mr. Stilwell that would give him two seats on the Board. However, because of the sanctions levied upon him by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), he could not be one of the nominees. He refused and launched a failed proxy fight.
- WHLR, again this year, attempted to reach a resolution with Mr. Stilwell to avoid another costly and distracting proxy contest.
- Through these negotiations, we advised Mr. Stilwell we would add him as a nominee to the Board slate, subject to favorable results from our due diligence investigation.
- Our due diligence uncovered disturbing information, detailed below, that we felt necessitated traveling to New York for a meeting with Mr. Stilwell in his offices.
- At that meeting, we attempted to present him with our findings, explain our position and give him the opportunity to withdraw his proxy campaign. He refused to discuss our concerns.
- The WHLR Board holds our nominees to a high standard, and we believe Mr. Stilwell's reported associations to be of serious concern for anyone wishing to be a representative of WHLR and its shareholders.
On November 11, 2019, the New York Post published an article entitled "Inside the Alleged ‘Cult' That Has Been Quietly Operating in NY for Decades." This article supports the information WHLR discovered in our own due diligence.