Investors in Phillips Edison & Company, Inc. (“PECO”) 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.
PECO was formed in Maryland in October 2009 as a non-traded real estate investment trust (or “REIT”), to acquire grocery-anchored shopping centers. In November 2018, PECO officially merged with Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT II (“Phillips Edison II), a move that caused significant loss to its investors. Investors who purchased shares in PECO at the initial offering acquired shares at $10.00 per share, and while PECO’s sponsor has said that it currently has an estimated net asset value (“NAV”) of $8.75 per share, shares on the limited private secondary market have reportedly traded between $4.50 and $5.50 per share in recent months.
Making matters worse, in March 2020 PECO announced that it would suspended monthly distributions, as well as share repurchases or redemptions, albeit indicating that these suspensions will be temporary. As measures to guard against liquidity issues, PECO also reportedly borrowed $200 million from a revolving credit facility and announced plans to reduce expenses.
Distributions to investors have now reportedly been indefinitely suspended after the March 2020 distribution was distributed in April 2020. The share repurchase program, including redemptions based on the death or qualifying disability of an investor, was also suspended.
As a publicly registered non-traded REITs, PECO and Phillips Edison II were permitted to sell securities to the investing public at large, including unsophisticated retail investors who bought shares upon the recommendation of a broker or money manager.
Non-traded REITs pose many risks that are often not readily apparent to retail investors, or adequately explained by the financial advisors and stockbrokers who recommend these complex investments. One significant risk associated with non-traded REITs has to do with their high up-front commissions, typically between 7-10%. In addition to high commissions, non-traded REITs like PECO generally charge investors for certain due diligence and administrative fees, ranging anywhere from 1-3%.
Furthermore, non-traded REITs are generally illiquid investments. Unlike traditional stocks and mutual funds, non-traded REITs do not trade on a national securities exchange. Many uninitiated investors in non-traded REITs have come to learn too late that their ability to exit their investment position is limited. Typically, investors in non-traded REITs can only exit their investment through redemption directly with the sponsor on a limited basis, and often at a disadvantageous price, or through sales in a limited secondary market.
Investors who wish to discuss a possible claim may contact a securities arbitration lawyer at 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. 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).
This article is intended as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING and is not an official announcement from PECO or FINRA.