American Finance Trust Benefiting from Focus on Investment Grade Critical Retail Tenants

Michael Weil, chairman, president and CEO of American Finance Trust, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFIN), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: Virtual Investor Conference (held June 2-4).

Weil stressed that American Finance has taken steps to position its portfolio to weather the current economic downturn and is benefitting from its focus on critical retail assets.

“If a portfolio from the beginning hasn’t been built to withstand this kind of unexpected impact, I think you face real problems,” Weil said. He noted that the company has always had a focus on investment grade or implied investment grade tenants.

“One of our greatest strengths is that we were positioned for this,” Weil said. He added, “the credit underwriting that we have always followed is really paying off.”

Weil also noted that acquisitions have been a strong point of growth for the company over time. Looking ahead, he said he expects to see dislocation in the market, but for now, American Finance has taken a prudent approach. “Right now there’s a pretty wide gap in our view between the bid and the ask on these types of transactions,” he noted.

Weil stressed that he is confident in the quality of the portfolio, the tenant mix, and the company’s ability to continue to find opportunities in the current crisis. “I do believe that crisis leads to opportunity and being well-capitalized is going to give us opportunities in the future,” he said.