Crombie REIT buys four retail properties in Alberta for $132 million

STELLARTON, N.S. – Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust said Tuesday it is spending $132 million to buy four retail plaza properties in Alberta.

The properties are located in Fort McMurray, Lethbridge and Edmonton.

Two of the locations are anchored by Sobey’s stores, while Safeway and Shoppers Drug Mart anchor the other locations.

The transaction is expected to close later this month and be funded from the trust’s revolving credit facility and the proceeds of a $60 million private placement completed in December.

Crombie (TSX: CRR.UN) will assume $10.8 million in mortgages.

CEO Donald Clow said the acquisitions align with its strategy to increase its portfolio of grocery and drug store anchored shopping centres across Canada.

“Growth in Western Canada is particularly important to our long-term strategy as these markets are strong and vibrant with an opportunity for solid cash flow growth,” he said in a news release.

Crombie owns 169 commercial properties in nine provinces, comprising about 1.3 million square metres of rentable space.

The trust also announced Tuesday that February’s distribution of 7.417 cents per unit will be payable March 15 to unitholders of record as at Feb. 28.

Empire Co. Ltd. (TSX:EMP.A), operator of the Sobey’s supermarket chain, spun off a number of properties into Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust in 2006 and holds a 46.5 per cent ownership interest.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Crombie’s units closed down three cents at $14.68 in Tuesday trading.