Combination creates Canada's largest REIT

Choice Properties is acquiring Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust to create Canada’s largest diversified REIT.

The $6 billion transaction will mean an expanded portfolio of 752 commercial properties with 69 million square feet of leasable space. As well as greater exposure to the Canada’s key urban markets, it will mean diversification of both tenants and geographical locations.

"Relying on the depth of tenant relationships of both organizations, the combined real estate will provide tenants with best-in-class real estate solutions across an extensive national portfolio," said John Morrison, Choice’s president and CEO.

Upon closing, Morrison will step down as President and CEO of Choice Properties and will serve as non-executive Vice Chairman of the combined REIT.

Stephen Johnson, current president and CEO at CREIT will take up the same role at the combined entity. The leadership team will also include Rael Diamond as COO, and Mario Barrafato, as CFO.

The combined REIT’s enterprise value will be $16 billion. Following the transaction, Loblaw and GWL will own approximately 62% and 4% of the proforma entity, respectively.

"Loblaw and GWL continue to be fully committed to Choice Properties as a strong pillar of growth within the Weston Group of Companies, said said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and CEO of Loblaw and GWL.

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