Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT or the Company) (NYSE: OFC) announced that Jay H. Shidler and Clay W. Hamlin, III will step down from their respective positions as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Company’s Board of Trustees, effective at the Company’s upcoming annual meeting of shareholders on May 9, 2013. Both are nominated for re-election at the meeting and if elected will remain on the Board as trustees. Thomas F. Brady, who has served on the Company’s Board since January 2002 and is also nominated for re-election, has been appointed Chairman of the Board, also effective May 9, 2013.
"It has been an honor to serve as Chairman of Corporate Office Properties Trust since 1997," stated Jay H. Shidler, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Corporate Office Properties Trust. "Tom’s extensive career in key financial and strategic executive positions at a substantial public company qualifies him to lead our Board and assess our strategic initiatives,” he stated.
Mr. Brady was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (‘‘BGE’’) and Executive Vice President - Corporate Strategy at Constellation Energy Group (‘‘CEG’’) (formerly NYSE: CEG, now a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, NYSE: EXC). During his career at CEG/BGE, Mr. Brady held a series of senior executive positions providing experience in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, entrepreneurial start-up businesses, managing local utility operations and chief accounting officer responsibilities. Prior to its acquisition by Exelon, CEG was a Fortune 200 company owning energy related businesses, including BGE. BGE is the largest electric and gas utility in Maryland. He continued to serve on the Board of Directors of BGE through 2012. Mr. Brady is Chairman of the Opower Advisory Board, a global leader in providing energy information software to the utility industry. Mr. Brady is also on the Board of Directors of ENBALA Power Networks Ltd., a smart grid technology company providing innovative grid balancing services to utilities and electric system operators. Both Opower and ENBALA are privately-owned clean technology companies. Mr. Brady is also a Trustee and Treasurer of the Board of Stevenson University.
COPT is an office REIT that focuses primarily on serving the specialized requirements of U.S. Government agencies and defense contractors, most of whom are engaged in defense information technology and national security-related activities. The Company generally acquires, develops, manages and leases office and data center properties concentrated in large office parks primarily located near knowledge-based government demand drivers and/or in targeted markets or submarkets in the Greater Washington, DC/Baltimore region. As of December 31, 2012, the Company’s consolidated portfolio consisted of 208 office properties totaling 18.8million rentable square feet. COPT is an S&P MidCap 400 company.
This press release may contain “forward-looking” statements, as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that are based on the Company’s current expectations, estimates and projections about future events and financial trends affecting the Company. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “estimate,” “plan” or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which the Company cannot predict with accuracy and some of which the Company might not even anticipate. Accordingly, the Company can give no assurance that these expectations, estimates and projections will be achieved. Future events and actual results may differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements.
Important factors that may affect these expectations, estimates, and projections include, but are not limited to:
- general economic and business conditions, which will, among other things, affect office property and data center demand and rents, tenant creditworthiness, interest rates, financing availability and property values;
- adverse changes in the real estate markets including, among other things, increased competition with other companies;
- governmental actions and initiatives, including risks associated with the impact of a government shutdown or budgetary reductions or impasses, such as a reduction in rental revenues, non-renewal of leases, and/or a curtailment of demand for additional space by the Company's strategic customers;
- the Company’s ability to borrow on favorable terms;
- risks of real estate acquisition and development activities, including, among other things, risks that development projects may not be completed on schedule, that tenants may not take occupancy or pay rent or that development or operating costs may be greater than anticipated;
- the Company’s ability to sell properties included in its Strategic Reallocation Plan;
- risks of investing through joint venture structures, including risks that the Company’s joint venture partners may not fulfill their financial obligations as investors or may take actions that are inconsistent with the Company’s objectives;
- changes in the Company’s plans for properties or views of market economic conditions or failure to obtain development rights, either of which could result in recognition of significant impairment losses;
- the Company’s ability to satisfy and operate effectively under Federal income tax rules relating to real estate investment trusts and partnerships;
- the Company's ability to achieve projected results;
- the dilutive effects of issuing additional common shares; and
- environmental requirements.
The Company undertakes no obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements. For further information, please refer to the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012.