PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE:RAS) issued the following statement in response to the amended Schedule 13D filed yesterday by Highland Capital Management, L.P.:
“RAIT strives to maintain constructive, ongoing communications with all of its shareholders and values constructive input from all shareholders on RAIT’s strategy, performance and plans for creating long-term shareholder value. As always, RAIT is committed to acting in the best interests of all RAIT shareholders, and RAIT’s Board of Trustees and management are confident that they are pursuing the right strategy to enhance value for all shareholders and will continue to take actions that will enable RAIT to build long-term shareholder value for all shareholders.
Over the past sixty days, RAIT has announced a number of significant actions intended to facilitate the ability of RAIT to transition to a more focused and simpler business model, deleverage and generate enhanced returns for its shareholders. These initiatives, which were in the process of being executed well before Highland Capital’s initial Schedule 13D filing on October 7, 2016, include the announcement of a transformative transaction to unlock shareholder value by monetizing RAIT’s interest in Independence Realty Advisors, LLC, the external advisor of Independence Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE MKT:IRT), a transaction that is expected to result in RAIT ultimately receiving $120 million in gross proceeds, before fees and expenses (“IRT Internalization Transaction”). RAIT has also recently announced a new Board leadership structure with the appointment of Michael Malter to serve as Independent Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and the naming of Scott Davidson, RAIT’s current President, to be the successor to Scott Schaeffer, RAIT’s current Chief Executive Officer. As Mr. Davidson discussed on RAIT’s third quarter earnings call last week, as we move forward with our leadership transition, he and Mr. Malter, under the oversight of the entire RAIT Board of Trustees, will be continuing to refine RAIT’s strategy and look forward to communicating further and regularly with our shareholders regarding our strategic initiatives for further simplifying RAIT’s business and enhancing value for shareholders.”
About RAIT Financial Trust
RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE:RAS) is an internally managed real estate investment trust that provides debt financing options to owners of commercial real estate and invests directly into commercial real estate properties located throughout the United States. Additional information about RAIT can be found on its website at www.rait.com.
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements can generally be identified by our use of forward-looking terminology such as “guidance,” “may,” “plan,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “seek,” “opportunities” or other similar words or terms. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding RAIT’s ability to consummate the IRT Internalization Transaction and the amount of gross proceeds that are ultimately received by RAIT if such transaction is consummated; RAIT’s initiatives to further simplify its business and enhance value for shareholders; RAIT’s actions taken or contemplated to enhance its long-term prospects and create value for its shareholders; RAIT’s future operational and financial performance; the future effect of RAIT’s strategic initiatives on RAIT’s growth, profitability and total shareholder returns; and whether RAIT’s recent management and board leadership changes and the refining of its strategy will result in shareholder value creation. Such forward-looking statements are based upon RAIT’s historical performance and its current plans, estimates and expectations and are not a representation that such plans, estimates, or expectations will be achieved. Such statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and contingencies that may cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations, intentions, beliefs, plans, estimates or predictions of the future expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and contingencies include, but are not limited to: the inability of the parties in the IRT Internalization Transaction to satisfy all required closing conditions and consummate the IRT Internalization Transaction, changes to RAIT’s management and board leadership structure, RAIT’s inability to realize the anticipated benefits of the IRT Internalization Transaction, and other factors described in RAIT’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings with the SEC. RAIT undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required by law.