Everyone Loves Primaris, Dufferin Mall
It's tight lips and big smiles all round as white knight H&R and would-be conqueror KingSett & Co are suddenly BFFs on a deal netting Primaris REIT investors $27.98/unit, $1.98 more than the offer that triggered this often bitter two-month tussle. Time will tell if everyone's right in declaring themselves winners, but Primaris's John Morrison looks good (even in this photo), squeezing 2.4% a unit more than the friendly Jan. 16 H&R deal. Critics of the "poison pill" fees attached to the old H&R deal might be happy those not-so hidden costs are forgone. H&R is expected to maintain the Primaris platform and keep 25 malls, possibly allowing it to surpass RioCan as Canada's biggest REIT. KingSett and OPB get 16 properties.
Dufferin Mall is H&R's, as long as Primaris shareholders ratify the deal next month. RioCan CEO Ed Sonshine also wanted Dufferin, just south of the Bloor subway. "It was my first choice," he says, "but as the Stones sang, 'you can't always get what you want'." Contrary to one rumour making the rounds yesterday, Ed tells us he's extremely happy to bag Oakville Place and half of Burlington Mall for $362M. "They were my No. 2 and 3 choices." RioCan was in for a $1.1B stake when the Primaris takeover battle started Dec. 4, and Ed's alleged dissatisfaction yesterday was attributed to ending up with suburban rather than urban properties. "Other than Dufferin, Primaris really doesn't have anything truly urban, like Yonge-Eglinton or Yonge-Sheppard [gems in RioCan's portfolio]."