Strategic Hotels & Resorts third quarter report issued on late Wednesday revealed that Laurence Geller, who stepped down at CEO earlier this week, cannot make a bid for all or parts of the company for 18 months.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that contract allows Geller to work for another hotel company, but he cannot hire Strategic executives for at least one year. The 64-year-old founder of the Chicago-based REIT with 18 hotels today also will receive a US$1.05 million severance payment and be eligible for stock option grants depending on company performance going forward.
The abrupt departure after almost 15 years with the company came with speculation that the company could end up for sale as a result of less than stellar performance since the start of the recession in 2008. Geller has stated that he left Strategic to pursue new interests, while sources say it could include a return to the industry. Geller remains a significant holder of Strategic Hotels stock.
Strategic, now under the direction of existing Chairman Raymond “Rip” Gellein Jr., reported a third quarter loss of US$8.6 million, 5 cents a share, versus a US$11.9 million loss, 6 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue was up 8% to US$204.6 million.