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Stratus Properties Reaffirms Review Of Tactical Alternatives To Optimize Stockholders Value

R. Chandrasekaran

Stratus Properties Inc. (NASDAQ: STRS) responded to a mischaracterization of its strategic review process by a dissident stockholder. The company reiterated its stand of reviewing strategic alternatives to optimize shareholders value.

Stratus Properties said that as announced in April, its Board engaged a nationally recognized investment banking firm, Hentschel & Company, to explore a complete range of tactical alternatives for it to enhance value. According to the company, this review included a sale of Stratus, a sale of some of its core assets, a share buyback program, and continuing its long-term plans to develop the value of its properties.

The company's statement said, "The Board takes its fiduciary responsibilities to all stockholders seriously and believes completing this strategic review is the best path to maximize value for all stockholders. On the other hand, a recent press release issued by dissident stockholder Carl Berg exposes Mr. Berg's single-minded fixation on an immediate sale to Capretta Properties – even if it is not in the best interests of all stockholders. In fact, in two recent letters sent by Mr. Berg to stockholders, he conspicuously emblazoned the phrase "STRATUS SHOULD BE SOLD" on the top of every page, leaving no doubt as to Mr. Berg's singular motive in seeking an immediate "fire sale" for personal financial reasons rather than a thorough evaluation to determine the best approach to maximize long-term value for ALL stockholders.

It continued to add that "As part of the Company's strategic review, Hentschel is engaging with potential counterparties, including Capretta Properties. However, to ensure an effective process focused on maximizing value for all stockholders, and as is customary in strategic transactions involving public companies, the Company will not provide further comment on its ongoing evaluation or provide public updates as to the status of any individual offer unless and until it deems further disclosure to be appropriate or required."

Stratus properties said its Board has not set a definitive timeline for completion of this review process and hasn't determined to follow any specific tactical alternative or enter into any transaction. The company was also categorical that there could be no assurance that this process would lead to any change to its previously announced five-year plan, a sale transaction or any other transaction.

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