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KBS Strategic Opportunity to nominate trustees to Whitestone REIT board

Whitestone REIT said it received a notice from KBS SOR Properties LLC, a wholly owned unit of KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT Inc., of its intention to nominate three individuals for election as class III trustees to Whitestone's board at the annual meeting of shareholders in 2018.

The current class III trustees of the company are Chairman and CEO James Mastandrea, former Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry and Jack Mahaffey, the former president and CEO of Shell Mining Co.

In a statement released Dec. 29, Whitestone said the shareholder had also indicated its intention to submit a nonbinding proposal for shareholders to approve its request to declassify the trust's board.

Whitestone said the move came as a surprise given the company's "outstanding" financial and operating performance, adding that its total shareholder return ranks among the best in the publicly traded shopping center REIT industry.

The trust further noted that it has appointed three new independent trustees and has stock ownership guidelines in place for its board and management team in order to improve its corporate governance. Six of the board's seven members are independent and are engaged in overseeing the company's growth, the company added.

Whitestone said the board and the nominating and corporate governance committee will assess the nominees and added that it remains open to studying opportunities to enhance shareholder value.