Primaris Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is acquiring Atlantic Canada’s premiere shopping centre complex for in a C$370m (€247m) deal.

The Canadian shopping centre REIT is buying the 562,000sqft Halifax Shopping Centre and the 412,000sqft Annex in Halifax, Nova Scotia in a deal comprising C$200m of cash, $45m of units of Primaris and $125m of exchangeable preferred units in a newly formed subsidiary limited partnership.

Patrick Sullivan, president and COO at Primaris REIT, said: “Halifax Shopping Centre and the Annex exemplify the quality and market-leading nature of Primaris REIT’s target acquisition profile. The shopping complex is extremely well located in central Halifax, adjacent to Halifax Transit’s Mumford Terminal and at the gateway to the Halifax peninsula, with a market-leading position in one of Canada’s fastest growing mid-sized population centres.

“With very strong sales performance trending above $1,000 per square foot, this acquisition enhances the REIT’s portfolio value proposition with retailers, and offers a significant income growth opportunity consistent with the growth we see ahead for our existing assets.”

Rags Davloor, Primaris REIT CFO, said: “Closing this second significant acquisition in 2023, while maintaining industry-leading credit metrics, is a testament to the strategic advantages provided by Primaris REIT’s differentiated financial model, including very low leverage, a low payout ratio and significant retained free cash flow.

“Our commitment to maintain an extremely well-capitalised balance-sheet positions Primaris as a highly credible transaction counterparty, at a time when many other groups are finding access to capital, and particularly financing, challenging.”  

Alex Avery, Primaris REIT CEO, said: “This acquisition further demonstrates Primaris as an attractive buyer for Canadian pension fund vendors of market-leading Canadian shopping centres, with multiple discussions continuing for further acquisitions.

“Primaris is uniquely positioned as a buyer, with institutional scale as the second largest owner-operator of enclosed shopping centres in Canada with proforma assets of approximately $3.9bn, a differentiated financial model featuring a very well capitalised balance sheet, and a clear mandate for growth.”

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