“It’s a big event for us that’s geared to enhance shareholder value and offer opportunities for growth in the future that perhaps didn’t exist in a previous form,” says Mark Alfieri, CEO of Monogram. “We’ve grown to a size that’s pretty substantial in a short period of time [since 2007].”
Now, Monogram, a property manager, owner, and developer employs 350 people and plans to add more than 150 more as its development pipeline is built out. The company owns 57 multifamily communities in 12 states comprising 16,306 units and has a development pipeline totaling about $1.5 billion. It currently has 19 properties under development and also expanded a long-standing relationship with Dutch pension fund PGGM for another $300 million in development.
Now, as the company aims to grow its platform over the next several years, it has to consider what to do next. In a August filing with the SEC, the firm announced it was beginning “to consider the process of listing or liquidation within the next two to four years,” which had been the company’s plan for awhile.
“A traded listing is a possibility that's being explored right now, would be a logical next step, and is something that's fully supported by the management team if approved by the board of directors," Alfieri says. "It could take a number of different forms."
A New York Stock Exchange listing, for example, could place Monogram alongside bigger public peers, like AvalonBay Communities (AVB) and Equity Residential (EQR). Monogram’s portfolio, which is about 90 percent Class A, compares favorably with the public REIT sector.
“We’re proud of the fact that the average age of the portfolio is between four and five years with a development pipeline that will keep it around that age over the next several years,” Alfieri says.
If Monogram were to go down the IPO route, it would be following a path that hasn’t really been used since a flurry of offerings back in the 90's. That said, Denver-based Archstone was well on its way to an IPO when it was bought by AVB and EQR in 2012. Other companies, like Alliance Residential, have considered IPOs. And, during the downturn, there were a number of rumors that some merchant developers may go public.
But there are other ways to be listed without going through an IPO. A ruling by the New York Stock Exchange also allows non-traded REITs to be listed without an IPO. For a company that has ample cash in its coffers and doesn’t need an IPO infusion, this strategy could make sense. Essentially, it’s just putting its shares on the market to be traded. Monogram could also consider recapitalizing its portfolio or selling its company altogether.