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Investors In The Necessity Retail REIT, Inc. (Formerly AFIN) May Have Arbitration Claims

Investors in The Necessity Retail REIT, Inc. (“Necessity REIT”), formerly known as American Finance Trust, Inc. (AFIN) and, before that, as American Realty Capital Trust V, Inc., may have FINRA arbitration claims, if their investment was recommended by a financial advisor who lacked a reasonable basis for the recommendation, or if the nature of the investment was misrepresented by the stockbroker or advisor.


Necessity REIT listed its shares on Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the ticker symbol “AFIN” effective July 19, 2018.  The Company later changed its name to The Necessity Retail REIT and adopted the ticker symbol “RTL” in February 2022.   Before listing its shares on Nasdaq,  Necessity REIT (then known as American Finance Trust) published an “estimated per share” net asset value of $23.56 in June 2018- leaving investors surprised when the REIT’s shares plummeted in value after being listed on Nasdaq only a month later in July 2018.   The REIT’s shares have continued to languish, and as of January 2023, Necessity REIT shares were trading at below $7.00 a share- meaning that investors who bought shares in the initial offering would have lost well over half of their initial investment.

More recently, an investor in Necessity REIT known as Blackwells Capital, LLC (“Blackwells”) has called for corporate governance changes and new directors for the REIT.  According to a recent news article, Blackwells reportedly notes that Necessity REIT trades at a 68.5% discount to its net asset value or “NAV” which, according to Blackwells, represents poor performance relative to comparable REITs.  Blackwells reportedly filed a lawsuit against Necessity REIT in December, 2022, challenging Necessity REIT’s interpretation of the meaning of a July 2022 bylaw amendment concerning the appointment of directors to the REIT’s board.  Blackwells has nominated two candidates for the Necessity REIT’s board, who have been rejected by the REIT, precipitating the lawsuit.

Initially offered as a non-traded REIT, Necessity REIT’s offering raised more than $1.6 billion in investor equity.  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.

As of Sept. 30, 2022, Necessity REIT reportedly owned 1,050 properties, comprised of 28.8 million rentable square feet, which were 92.6% leased, including 939 single-tenant net leased commercial properties, 900 of which are retail properties, and 111 multi-tenant retail properties.

Investors with questions about claims against a stockbroker or investment advisor concerning Necessity REIT or other non-traded REITs or non-conventional investments may contact Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or via email at for a no-cost, confidential consultation. Attorneys at the firm are admitted in New York, Wisconsin and various federal courts around the country, and handle cases nationwide (in cooperation with attorneys located in those states if required by applicable rules).

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