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RAIT Financial Trust completes internalization for proceeds of $105M

RAIT Financial Trust has completed the transactions related to the internalization of the management of Independence Realty Trust Inc. and has received aggregate proceeds of $105.2 million.

RAIT expects to achieve "significant" annual cost savings from the sale of Independence Realty Advisors LLC, which was Independence Realty Trust's exterior manager but is now internalized by the company.

The restructuring has led RAIT's employee count to fall to about 240 from about 645. Staff members are expected to be offered employment at Independence Realty Trust.

RAIT also announced that it has sold $265.3 million of properties through Dec. 1 and repaid $233.3 million of debt associated with those properties in an effort to lower its leverage and run a simpler business.

In line with that strategy, the company put a new board and management team in place. Michael J. Malter was elected independent chairman, effective Oct. 18. President Scott Davidson was named CEO and a board of trustees member. Davidson also became chairman and CEO of Independence Realty Trust. James Sebra, currently the CFO of RAIT, will remain in that role until the later of either March 31, 2017, or the filing of RAIT's annual report with the SEC. After that, he will become the CFO of Independence Realty Trust.

RAIT is searching for a CFO to succeed Sebra when he departs.