Vaughan, Ontario-based OneREIT (TSX: ONR.UN), formerly known as Retrocom Mid-Market Real Estate Investment Trust until it changed its name a year ago, is said to be back on the market for sale.

The Canadian REIT said it has engaged TD Securities as its financial advisor “to explore strategic alternatives,” and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin as its legal advisor.

OneREIT is an unincorporated, open-end real estate investment trust which focuses on owning and acquiring retail properties across Canada.

On June 8, the REIT’s shares closed up 6% at CAD$3.69, giving it a market value of nearly CAD $280 million.

The REIT has previously conducted strategic reviews a decade ago under a different guise, also with the assistance of TD Securities, but “failed to yield an acceptable third-party transaction.”

According to the Globe and Mail, in 2006 “Retrocom has achieved the unachievable: Despite a great market for retail properties, its unit price has fallen 32 per cent since its initial public offering, and it became one of the first REITs ever to cut distributions.”

“Retrocom has become the real estate world’s equivalent of an aging divorcée who rents a billboard to advertise her availability to men,” said the Globe and Mail under the headline, “Dowdy mall REIT best left off résumé of a potential PM.”

“How did it come to this?” asks the Globe and Mail. “If the trust’s name is vaguely familiar to you, perhaps you’ve heard of Retrocom Growth Fund, which recently became the latest labour-sponsored fund to hit a liquidity crisis and suspend redemptions.”

“How it’s possible to screw up real estate in this market is an open question, but most REIT-watchers point to the union ties as part of the problem. Some of the properties Retrocom acquired in the IPO are true dogs. (A 37-year-old mall in Terrace, B.C., that’s 25-per-cent vacant? No thanks.),” the Globe and Mail added.

On March 22, 2004, Retrocom completed its initial public offering of 10,769,000 trust units for gross proceeds of over $107 million. The offering was underwritten by a syndicate that was led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and included TD Securities Inc., BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., National Bank Financial Inc., Canaccord Capital Corporation, Desjardins Securities Inc. and HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc.

The Canadian REIT specializes in owning and operating income producing shopping centers, consisting of a mix of new format shopping centers, open air strip plazas and enclosed shopping malls.. Its growth comes from improving its assets and purchasing built out shopping centers.

The REIT reportedly owns a portfolio of approximately 60 properties, with over 900 tenants spread out throughout Canada, including over 55 investment properties located in approximately nine provinces and the Yukon Territory, one parcel of land for development located in New Brunswick, and an interest in over 40 acre tract of land in Mississauga, Ontario.

It owns over three retail properties in the Province of British Columbia consisting of shopping centers located in Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission; approximately three retail properties in the Province of Alberta consisting of shopping centers located in Cochrane, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, and over 30 retail properties and an interest in Joint Venture Property in the Province of Ontario.

OneREIT owns over six properties in the Province of Saskatchewan and a property in the Province of Manitoba.

Photo: OneREIT Kenora Shopping Center, in Kenora, Ontario. The 81,000 sq. ft. outdoor mall is situated on Mikana Way and Highway 17. Walmart anchors the center with an adjacent Canadian Tire. It includes future development opportunities available up to 8,000 sq. ft.



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