Slate Office REIT Acquires Fortis Portfolio
Slate Office REIT will acquire a portfolio of 14 commercial properties from Fortis Properties Corp in a $430M deal that nearly doubles the trust's asset base, in line with its goal of becoming a pure-play office REIT. The transaction—which gives Slate Office a national presence with 49 properties (5.4M SF of GLA)—includes some of Atlantic Canada’s top commercial real estate: 10 office buildings, a mixed-use office complex and three retail centres totaling 2.8M SF of GLA. Noteworthy properties in the deal are Blue Cross Centre in Moncton (above), Maritime Centre in Halifax (below) and Fortis Place in St John’s.
The deal with Fortis will see Slate Office REIT enter into a co-ownership agreement with an undisclosed Canadian institutional real estate fund; Slate will retain a 10% interest in three of the properties and the co-owner will acquire a 90% interest. Slate said its proportionate interest in the portfolio has an average occupancy of 88.8%, representing an opportunity for the REIT to "increase occupancy and add value.” The addition of the acquired properties will raise to 86% the percentage of the Slate Office REIT portfolio represented by office space.