Real estate investment trust Strawberry Fields announced late Thursday that it would start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) starting on Feb. 22 under the symbol STRW.
The REIT has been trading on the over-the-counter marketplace (OTCQX) since September of last year.
For Strawberry Fields CEO Moishe Gubin, the plan was always to eventually be listed on a national exchange.
“Somewhere along the path from 2003 to 2014 or so, we had realized that the dream for us was that we’re going to take our company public,” Gubin said in a conference call to investors last week. During the call, Gubin also shared that his company does not have any institutional investors yet. “We have not taken a lot of outside money yet. So today the insiders still own probably 90 percent of the company.”
Strawberry Fields got its start in 2004 with 33 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in Indiana and Illinois. Its assets now number 86 across nine states. The company has operations largely in the Midwest with facilities in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan, as well as Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas, among others.
“Beginning to trade on the OTCQX was the perfect way to enter the public markets,” Gubin said in a statement. He’s confident the move to the NYSE will enhance the REIT’s ability to grow its portfolio. “We have invested significant time and energy to build our company and attribute our dedication and hard work to reaching this milestone.”
The company anticipates “controlled growth” in current regions and expansion into new states.