As previously reported, American Finance Trust, Inc. (“AFIN” or the “Company”), formerly known as American Realty Capital Trust V, Inc., listed its shares on Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”), under the symbol AFIN effective July 19, 2018.
The former non-traded REIT’s shares are therefore publicly traded, but not all shares are yet saleable. In connection with the listing, the Company’s shares were divided into three classes: Class A, Class B-1 and Class B-2. American Finance Trust has listed its Class A and former Class B-1 shares on NASDAQ, and the remaining Class B-2 shares are expected to list by January 2019. Shares of the non-traded REIT originally sold for $25.00 each, and the company terminated its share repurchase program at the end of June prior to listing on Nasdaq.
Against this backdrop, a private equity fund known as MacKenzie Realty Capital Inc. has offered to purchase up to 400,000 shares of each class of company common stock. MacKenzie is offering $15.00 per Class A share and $14.01 per Class B-1 share, and will purchase up to 400,000 shares of each class. The offer expires on November 16, 2018. Of note, these prices are above the current market price of AFIN shares on NASDAQ. Although most investors paid $25.00 a share for AFIN shares in the Company’s offerings, AFIN shares have consistently traded well below that price level since the Nasdaq listing. AFIN shares have traded as low as $13.15 a share, and closed on October 25, 2018 at $13.85 a share. The performance of the Company since it started trading on July 19 may have caught some investors by surprise, since AFIN published an “estimated per share” net asset value of $23.56 in June 2018.
Notwithstanding the tender offer price being at a premium to market, AFIN recommends against shareholders tending their shares: “We believe that MacKenzie would not be making the offer if it did not think AFIN’s shares will be worth more in the future than the prices they are paying for each share class,” said the company in a statement.
While structured as a non-traded REIT, American Finance Trust’s offering raised more than $1.6 billion in investor equity between April and October 2013. Because AFIN was registered with the SEC, the non-traded REIT was permitted to sell securities to the investing public at large, including numerous unsophisticated investors who bought shares through the initial public offering (“IPO”) upon the recommendation of a broker or money manager. AFIN commenced its initial public offering in April 2013, which closed approximately six months later, raising $1.6 billion in investor equity. Investors who participated in the IPO paid $25 per share. AFIN later merged with another REIT known as American Realty Capital Retail Centers of America in a controversial 2017 transaction.
While it is now publicly traded, AFIN was initially sold as a public, non-traded REIT.
Stockbrokers and financial advisors who sell non-traded REITs and other non-conventional investments have an obligation to recommend these investments only when they have a reasonable basis to recommend them to an individual customer. Advisors also may not sell non-traded REITs or other investments via a misleading sales presentation that omits to disclose material risks. A hallmark of non-traded REITs is their high up-front commissions, typically between 7-10%, which many investors may overlook at the time of purchase, and which may motivate financial advisors to recommend non-traded REITs instead of lower-commission alternatives such as publicly-traded REITs and ETFs.
Investors with questions above claims concerning non-traded REITs or other non-conventional investments may contact Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.