TORONTO, June 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Slate Office REIT (the "REIT") (TSX: SOT.UN) (TSX: SOT.WT) is pleased to announce the closing of its previously announced acquisition (the "Acquisition") of a portfolio of 14 commercial properties (the "Portfolio") from Fortis Properties Corporation (the "Vendor") for an aggregate purchase price of $430 million. As part of the Acquisition, the REIT entered into a strategic co-ownership agreement with a Canadian institutional real estate fund pursuant to which the REIT acquired a 10% interest in three of the properties and the co-owner acquired a 90% interest.
The Acquisition, which consists principally of high quality office buildings located in major markets in Atlantic Canada, significantly enhances the REIT's position as an office REIT. The Acquisition nearly doubles the REIT's asset base and creates a national footprint with 49 properties and total gross leasable area ("GLA") of 5.4 million square feet. The transaction delivers on the REIT's stated growth strategy and focus on office assets.
The REIT's proportionate share of the Portfolio purchase price is $304 million before transaction costs. The Acquisition was primarily funded with proceeds from an $80 million public offering of subscription receipts of the REIT, a $35 million private placement of units of the REIT to Fortis Inc., an affiliate of the Vendor, and $189 million from new acquisition credit facilities.
The Portfolio comprises some of Atlantic Canada's highest-quality commercial buildings, including ten office buildings, one mixed-use office complex and three retail centres totalling 2.8 million square feet of GLA. Notable regional addresses include Maritime Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia; the Blue Cross Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick; and Fortis Place in St. John's, Newfoundland. The REIT's proportionate interest in the Portfolio comprises 2.5 million square feet of GLA.
New Board Appointment
The Board of Trustees of the REIT is pleased to announce the appointment of Nora Duke to the Board of Trustees, effective immediately. For 8 years, Ms. Duke has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Fortis Properties Corporation. Prior to this, she spent 16 years at Newfoundland Power, ultimately serving as the company's vice-president of customer and corporate services. She was named one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs from 2009-2013 by Atlantic Business Magazine. She was also named one of Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2010 by the Women's Executive Network. Ms. Duke holds bachelor of commerce (hons.) and masters of business administration degrees from Memorial University.
About Slate Office REIT
Slate Office REIT is an open-ended real estate investment trust. The REIT's portfolio currently comprises 49 strategic and well-located real estate assets located primarily across Canada's major population centres. The REIT is focused on maximizing value through internal organic rental and occupancy growth and strategic acquisitions. Visit slateam.com/SOT to learn more.
Slate Asset Management L.P. is a leading real estate investment platform with $3 billion in assets under management. Slate is a value-oriented company and a significant sponsor of all its private and publicly-traded investment vehicles, which are tailored to the unique goals and objectives of its investors. The firm's careful and selective investment approach creates long term value with an emphasis on capital preservation and outsized returns. Slate is supported by exceptional people, flexible capital and a proven ability to originate and execute on a wide range of compelling investment opportunities. Visit slateam.com to learn more.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "may", "will", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "predict", "potential", "continue" and by discussions of strategies that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements are based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by the REIT regarding, among other things, the expected performance of the acquired properties. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements will occur as anticipated. Neither the REIT nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any forward-looking statements, and no one has any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or such other factors which affect this information, except as required by law.
SOURCE Slate Office REIT
For further information: Scott Antoniak, Chief Executive Officer, Slate Office REIT, +1 416 583 1764, [email protected]; Conor McBroom, Vice President, Investor Relations, Slate Asset Management L.P., +1 416 619 4284, [email protected]