SAN DIEGO–Burnham Pacific Properties Inc.’s board of directors say theyhave concluded that it¹s “in the best interests of the company’sshareholders” to liquidate the troubled REIT.

At the same time, Burnham announced that J. David Martin has resigned aschief executive officer and as a company director in anticipation of themove. Scott C. Verges, the REIT’s chief administrative officer and generalcounsel, will serve as interim chief executive officer.

The company¹s board of directors says it intends to adopt a final plan ofliquidation in time for consideration of stockholders at the upcoming annualmeeting, set for Oct. 18. The board is interviewing outside firms to overseeand manage the liquidation process.

Since last fall, Burnham and its accounting firm, Goldman, Sachs & Co., havebeen reviewing bids to acquire the company. But Burnham’s board has nowconcluded that the price and terms are not right for an acquisition. Theboard has also opted not to reorganize the REIT.

Burnham says it has reached an accord with Westbrook Partners and BlackacreProperties, its two largest equity holders, to support the board’sliquidation plan.

The move, part of a daily saga of the company, appears to bolster thepositions of Jay Schottenstein and Michael Ashner. The duo announced a planearlier this year to topple management and install a board that wouldliquidate the REIT because of what they called a “dramatic” drop inshareholder value.

But the liquidation price remains in question. The board has recentlyentertained an offer from Cleveland-based Coventry Partners of $5.46 pershare, according to Wall Street insiders.

Schottenstein and Ashner have vowed to fight any attempt to liquidate atless than $8 per share. Last August, the board turned down Schottenstein’s $13.50-a-share offer after deeming that it was too low.

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