(Bloomberg) -- Activist investor Jonathan Litt has built a new position in Apartment Investment & Management Co. and has met with management to discuss ways to improve value for shareholders, including exploring a sale of the real estate investment trust, according to people familiar with the matter.
Litt’s Land & Buildings Investment Management owns a stake of just under 5% in Aimco, and believes there is a large pool of potential buyers for the company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Land & Buildings agrees with the company’s assessment that its assets are worth at least $12 a share, they added, a 30% premium to where they closed Thursday.
Litt has had discussions with management about ways of narrowing its valuation gap, including potentially exploring a sale, the people said. Land & Buildings is considering all options to improve value, they said. The company will have three directors up for election at this year’s annual general meeting.
Aimco rose 3.6% to $9.54 in New York trading Friday at 9:37 a.m., giving the company a market value of about $1.5 billion.
Aimco has a portfolio multifamily apartment buildings with $3.4 billion in assets under management and development, according to its website.
A representative for Aimco wasn’t immediately available for comment. A spokesperson for Land & Buildings declined to comment.
Litt has a long history with Aimco. In 2020, he sought to block a breakup of its predecessor into two publicly traded companies; the current Aimco and what is known as Apartment Income REIT Corp. The activist investor had pursued a special meeting to block the split, which he eventually abandoned after the company pushed ahead with the breakup in December of that year.
In January 2021, Litt called on the recently separated Apartment Income REIT to replace the majority of its board with independent directors, and to forge a committee to evaluate strategic alternatives, including a sale.
Land & Buildings isn’t the only one pushing for changes at Aimco. Westdale Investments, which made a bid to acquire Aimco in 2020 prior to the split, also disclosed last week it owned a more than 5% in Aimco and intended to speak with management about ways to improve value.
Aimco announced a new joint venture Thursday with Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. to fund up to $1 billion in future multifamily developments.
(Updates with share price in paragraph four)
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