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Griffin Realty Trust Announces Plan to List on the NYSE

Griffin Realty Trust Inc., a publicly registered non-traded real estate investment trust formerly known as Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT, announced a plan to pursue a listing of the company’s common shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

As The DI Wire previously reported in August 2020, the company announced its “strategic monetization process” that included spinning off a new public company and liquidating the remaining assets as a result of the company’s review of strategic alternatives.

The company says that its board and management team unanimously agreed that pursuing a direct listing of the company is the best available path in the current market environment to “provide liquidity to its shareholders and the opportunity to maximize value over time.”

In preparation for the listing, Griffin said it will suspend the company’s share redemption program (now currently available only for death, qualifying disability and determination of incompetence or incapacitation) as of March 7, 2023; the SRP will automatically terminate in connection with the listing in light of the fact that a trading market will exist for the company’s common shares. The company also announced that it will transition to Computershare as transfer agent to the company and its shareholders and complete a reverse share split prior to the listing.

The board declared a reduced distribution rate of $0.10 per common share annualized from $0.36, for the month of February 2023, which will be payable to shareholders around Mar. 1, 2023. According to the company, the reduced distribution rate is needed to “retain greater liquidity as a listed company.”

In addition, for distributions following the February distribution, Griffin says it will cease calculating and determining record holders for its distribution rate daily, and instead will pay distributions to holders of common shares in a specific amount and on a specified record date.

“We have made significant progress in reducing debt on our balance sheet and de-risking our portfolio, as well as proactively managing our portfolio’s maturing leases,” Michael Escalante, Griffin’s president and chief executive officer, said. “After careful consideration of the changing conditions in the macroeconomic environment, and with the best interests of our shareholders and our primary objectives (shareholder liquidity and value maximization) in mind, the board and management team made the strategic decision to pursue a listing of the company’s common shares.”

“We believe a listing of the entire company’s common shares is currently the best available path forward to accomplish our goals,” Escalante continues. “I have confidence in our team and remain optimistic regarding our ability to extract the value embedded within the current portfolio and take advantage of growth opportunities available in today’s dynamic real estate markets.”

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