Inland American Changes Name

What’s in a name? For Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc., the answer is a new message.
Inland American-Tom McGuinness

What’s in a name? For Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc., the answer is a new message. The retail REIT has changed its name to InvenTrust Properties Corp., a move that comes on the heels of some major changes at the company.

Thomas  McGuinness, president & CEO of InvenTrust, summarized the message in a prepared statement, declaring that InvenTrust is a company with a multi-tenant retail strategy to bring innovation and invention to the way it works and operates its 108 property, 15.5 million-square-foot portfolio of open-air shopping centers,

A big transition at the company began one year ago with the announcement that it had become a self-managed entity, taking on the day-to-day functions that were previously being handled by its business manager, Inland American Business Manager & Advisor Inc. The news, which came in March 2014, was followed by yet more big news just a few months later. In August, the company revealed it would spin off its lodging business into a standalone, publicly traded company called Xenia Hotels & Resorts with a portfolio 46 full service hotels totaling more than 12,600 guest rooms. Xenia officially became an independent self-managed REIT in February of this year.

While the new branding message, which is accompanied by a new logo, centers on InvenTrust’s position as a top player in the open-air shopping center sub-sector of the retail market, the REIT remains committed to its student housing business, University House Communities, which presently has a portfolio of 14 properties encompassing nearly 8,000 beds. InvenTrust plans to develop new properties in this arena, as well as acquire existing assets.

And there’s another factor that, while not part of the name-change plan, injects a breath of fresh air into the company. In late March the SEC, which had been investigating Inland American for potential violations of certain provisions of federal securities laws, informed the company that it had concluded the multi-year investigation with no plans of recommending any enforcement action.

The REIT has a new name and a reinvigorated message, but at the core of it all, it’s business as usual for the company. As McGuinness wrote in his monthly letter to stockholders just days before the InvenTrust reveal, “We expect 2015 to be a year in which we continue to move our strategy forward with strategic acquisitions, excellent balance sheet management and thoughtful capital allocations. We will also continue to work on building an independent brand for both core platforms to showcase our unique investment characteristics and market strategies. Our objective has been, and will continue to be, maximizing stockholder value over the long-term.”