Schorsch is taking REIT B-D public

Industry maverick planning another liquidity event

May 26, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

By Bruce Kelly

After shepherding a handful of nontraded real estate investment trusts to the public markets, American Realty Capital's Nicholas Schorsch now plans an initial public offering for his broker-dealer.

The broker dealer, Realty Capital Securities LLC, will become part of RCS Capital Corp., a new venture launched by him that intends to sell 2.75 million shares of company stock, with an expected initial public offering price of $19 to $21 a share.

After registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission in February, RCS Capital last week issued a prospectus outlining its IPO.

American Realty Capital has been a leader in the nontraded-REIT industry in creating “liquidity events.” In such events, capital is returned to clients through a REIT merger or listing on an exchange.

After the credit crisis, nontraded REITs were widely criticized for several shortcomings, including a lack of exit strategies for investors. But property trusts increasingly are staging liquidity events as investor appetite for listed REITs — and the dividends they throw off — remains strong.

According to the prospectus, America Realty Capital has executed four liquidity events in the past year and a half, creating $2.7 billion in shareholder value in total cash and stock appreciation, including dividends.

RCS' market capitalization is expected to be $535 million after the offering, based on a $20-a-share offering price. At that price, the offering would raise $55 million if the allotment of shares were sold completely.

That is a modest amount but would allow Realty Capital Securities LLC, which provides wholesaling and investment banking duties to American Realty Capital's REITs, to expand its ability to sell other illiquid investments. Those nontraded REITs and business development companies would be created by sponsors looking for distribution into independent broker-dealers.

Mr. Schorsch is executive chairman of the new company, which is expected to price next week, with a ticker symbol of RCAP on the NYSE.

Because RCS Capital is in its quiet period, he wasn't available to comment.

According to the prospectus, the company expects to pay an annualized dividend of 72 cents, payable quarterly starting in the third quarter.

That is equivalent to a 3.6% dividend yield, again based on a $20 price.

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