Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT Inc., a publicly registered non-traded real estate investment trust, reported that its board’s compensation committee has approved special one-time grants of restricted stock unit awards to the company’s executive officers and certain other employees.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Michael Escalante, chief executive officer and president, was granted close to $1.6 million, and Javier Bitar, chief financial officer and treasurer, was granted $450,000. Executive vice presidents Louis Sohn and Scott Tausk were each granted $225,000.
“The purpose of the awards…is to retain the award recipients and acknowledge extraordinary accomplishments with respect to various strategic transactions and COVID-19 pandemic response related activities during 2020,” the filing stated.
The number of restricted stock units was calculated based on the company’s most recent published net asset value, which was $8.95 per share, as of December 31, 2020.
The awards will be settled in shares of the REIT’s Class E common stock, with each restricted stock unit representing a contingent right to receive one Class E share. The units will vest in equal, 25 percent installments annually over four years beginning on March 25, 2022, if the recipient remains continuously employed by the company on each date.
In the event of a termination of employment due to death, disability, involuntary termination by the company or voluntary termination for “good reason,” the units will vest in full immediately prior to the termination. In the event of a termination of employment for any other reason, all unvested units will be forfeited.
Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT is a self-managed REIT with a portfolio consisting primarily of single tenant business essential properties throughout the United States.
In March 2021, the REIT purchased Cole Office & Industrial REIT Inc. in a stock-for-stock merger transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion. After the merger, the company’s portfolio consisted of 123 properties with a total asset value of $5.8 billion.