Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital forces CEO and board reshuffle at St. Joe Company

March 3rd, 2011
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The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE), a Florida-based real estate developer, announced Monday that CEO Britt Greene has resigned from his position on the Board of Directors effective immediately. He will step down from his positions as President and CEO of the company later this week. Three other members of the Board of Directors, Michael L. Ainslie, John S. Lord, and Walter L. Revell have also agreed to step down from their board positions later this week, citing they were “recognizing the desire of St. Joe shareholders for the company to pursue a different course.”

The move was pushed through by Bruce Berkowitz, founder and Chief Investment Officer of Fairholme Capital Management LLC. Fairholme has owned a near 30% stake in St. Joe Company for a few years now. Mr. Berkowitz has always been famously bullish on St. Joe, even going so far as to challenge Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn on his short position in St. Joe last year by buying more shares in the company. St. Joe rewarded Mr. Berkowitz for his support with seats on the Board of Directors for himself and partner and President of Fairholme Capital, Charlie Fernandez.

However, the plot turned sour when Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Fernandez proposed a few candidates for the Board of Directors, and the Board declined to consider them. This led to Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Fernandez’s resignations, but on February 15, 2011, the pair announced they intended to replace the Board of Directors. St. Joe immediately implemented their poison pill right and retained Morgan Stanley to “explore financial and strategic alternatives,” but it now seems that Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Fernandez have won.

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For Detailed Investor Profiles on these Investors, click below:
Fairholme Capital Management
Related People: Bruce Berkowitz; Charlie Fernandez
Related Entities: East Lane LLC; Fairholme Asset Allocation Fund; Fairholme Focused Fund; Fairholme Partners LP; Fairholme Ventures; Fairholme Fund
Related Article Tags: Shareholder Activists, Corporate Raiders and Proxy Battles

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