Louis Capelli today fired off a searing email to David Brain, CEO of Entertainment Properties Trust, accusing EPT of unfairly damaging his reputation by making false statements and using inflammatory language during a publicly broadcast conference call last month.
Capelli asks Brain to give "immediate attention" to his call for EPT to retract its previous statements regarding a $700,000 transfer of funds among two Capelli entities which Capelli has described as both proper and necessary to his efforts to sign lease deals with Kohl's and Target at New Roc City.
In a story first reported by Talk of the Sound, EPT's CEO David Brain, COO Gregory Silver and and CFO Mark Peterson repeatedly bashed Capelli to Wall Street analysts and investors during a May 3rd conference call which was webcast live over the Internet, claiming a $700,000 transfer of funds was an "unauthorized loan", that Capelli management of New Roc had been "terminated" and bank accounts "seized" as a result.
In an exclusive interview with Talk of the Sound, Capelli paints a very difference picture. He says the $700,000 was for the purpose of paying expenses related to developing building plans needed to close the deals with Kohl's and Target. Capelli also states that he offered to turn over control of bank accounts to EPT a week before the actual transfer took place, that he has documentation of this, and that EPT's use of the term "seized" completely mischaracterizes the circumstances under which control of the bank accounts moved from Capelli to EPT.
He went on to say that EPT does not want to bring Kohl's and Target to New Rochelle for reasons unrelated to the needs of New Rochelle or the success of the project and that EPT has been and continues to stand in the way closing deals with the two department stores.
Perhaps most significantly, Capelli says that the two sides have settled their disputes involving New Roc City, the City Center in White Plains and the Concord resort in upstate New York.
His email to EPT (printed below in full) indicates that an announcement of a settlement may come as early as today.
Email from Louis Capelli to David Brain
Gentlemen, this is doing me a tremendous amount of reputational damage. I suggest we sign today and there is a very supportive press release issued immediately which attempts to clear up these issues and gain back my stellar reputation.
You didn't "seize" the accounts. I emailed David a week before offering to turn over the accounts for your control ( if you don't have that email I will send it again ). You need to retract this statement immediately.
Also all payments were made as a "loan" for transparency purposes and project bills were paid and allocated for payment of project expenses ( plans you now want for Target and Kohls )
I need immediate attention to this and a closing today with a funding Monday.
We need to deal with this in the press release ASAP as it has caused numerous calls to me today. These were funds used for company/partnership expenses, and EPT knows that.
This is damaging to my reputation