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A New Marijuana REIT Rival for Innovative Industrial Properties Is Coming to the Market

By Eric Volkman – Updated Oct 20, 2020 at 9:59AM

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Two cannabis-focused entities -- Inception REIT and Subversive Real Estate Acquisition REIT -- will merge in a qualifying transaction at the end of October.

Since its debut on the stock market in late 2017, Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR -1.37%) has been the only publicly traded cannabis-focused real estate investment trust (REIT). But in the near future, a new kid will arrive on the block.

Like Innovative, this company will concentrate solely on the grow spaces, processing facilities, retail stores, and other real estate required by the marijuana industry.

The new kid -- just what name it will go by remains something of a question mark -- will come to the public market via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) now called Subversive Real Estate Acquisition REIT (SBVR.F).

Cannabis flower in a bowl on top of US currency.

Image source: Getty Images.

In a move that has become trendy in finance lately, an existing company -- in this case, Inception REIT  -- will park itself within Subversive in a nearly $183 million "qualifying transaction" that will merge the two. This maneuver is essentially a backdoor initial public offering that should be completed next Friday, Oct. 30.

The resulting company will be significantly smaller than Innovative. At the moment, Subversive's portfolio consists of 12 properties under binding agreements and five first-lien loans; these are located in nine U.S. states, chiefly California. According to the SPAC, this real estate is worth $201 million.

Inception REIT, meanwhile, holds three properties and one mortgage to a retail store, all located in southern California.

By comparison, as of Sept. 21, Innovative had 63 properties in a portfolio. Its real estate assets totaled more than $815 million at the end of its most recently reported quarter.

Similarly to Innovative, the new company will concentrate on sale-leaseback transactions. Such deals are popular with cannabis companies because they unlock capital that operators in the cash-strapped and frequently money-losing marijuana industry sorely need. 


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