Glenn Rufrano, CEO of VEREIT, Inc. (NYSE: VER), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2015: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Rufrano highlighted the priorities that he has set since he took the helm at VEREIT’s predecessor, American Realty Capital Properties, Inc. (ARCP), in March. In addition to changing the name of the company, it was important to re-establish corporate governance in order to continue to gain credibility as a company, Rufrano explained.
Rufrano expressed optimism that the new set of directors who were unanimously elected in September will help the company progress forward. VEREIT has also taken positive steps to implement its business plan, Rufrano noted.
Turning to VEREIT’s property portfolio, Rufrano emphasized that the assets are performing well: “We’re happy with occupancy and rent levels, and the quality is being supported by the results.”
Rufrano also discussed VEREIT’s strategic partnership with Golden Gate Capital in connection to VEREIT’s Red Lobster restaurant properties.
Rufrano explained that while the Red Lobster properties purchased in 2014 are all well-structured and in good locations, VEREIT had too many of them. The Red Lobster properties accounted for 12 percent of VEREIT income, whereas the company prefers to keep any one tenant below 5 percent, Rufrano said.
VEREIT structured a transaction whereby Golden Gate purchased $200 million of Red Lobster assets. Through a strategic partnership, the two companies will opportunistically divest an additional $400 million of properties by executing single- or multi-unit dispositions.
“For us, it’s a way to minimize our concentration and make some profits,” Rufrano added.