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Morguard Announces Canadian Retail Acquisitions

Stocks in this article: MRC

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Morguard Investments Limited ("Morguard") announced today that it has agreed to purchase three regional shopping centres in Canada on behalf of its clients, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan ("HOOPP") and Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust (the "REIT") (TSX: MRT.UN) from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ("CPPIB") for a purchase price totaling more than $500 million CDN (excluding closing costs).

The acquisition is expected to close on or about December 12, 2013 and conditions, other than customary closing conditions, have now been satisfied.

HOOPP will acquire a 100 percent freehold interest in two Ontario retail properties including Intercity Shopping Centre located in Thunder Bay and New Sudbury Shopping Centre located in Sudbury.  Intercity Shopping Centre is a 460,349 square feet market dominant single level enclosed regional shopping centre built in 1982, renovated and expanded from 1994 to 1996, and anchored by Sears and Target department stores.  New Sudbury Centre is a 567,673 square foot market dominant single level enclosed regional shopping centre built in 1956, most recently renovated in 2005, and anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercentre and a Sears department store.

"Market dominant retail assets, such as these two commercial shopping malls, align with our commitment to pursue high-quality assets for HOOPP's real estate portfolio," said Michael Catford, HOOPP's VP, Real Estate. "Real estate is an important part of how HOOPP delivers on the pension promise for its members - it delivers steady, inflation-sensitive income, with the potential for long-term capital appreciation, which makes it an ideal match for our stakeholders."

Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust will acquire a 100 percent freehold interest in Pine Centre Mall located in Prince George, BC.  Pine Centre Mall is a 475,177 square foot market dominant, single level enclosed regional shopping centre built in 1974, renovated and expanded in 2008 with a strong and diversified tenant mix anchored by Target and Sears department stores.

"Well occupied and dominant regional shopping centres in performing markets complement our established retail portfolio," said Rai Sahi, Chairman and CEO of Morguard. "Retail is our largest asset class and upon closing, Morguard will manage more than 18 million square feet of retail across its owned and managed retail assets."

The acquired assets will be managed by Morguard, adding approximately 1.5 million square feet of retail space to the current managed portfolio bringing total assets under management to approximately $14.5 billion CDN.

About Morguard REIT

Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust is a closed-end real estate investment trust, which owns a diversified portfolio of 54 high quality retail, office and mixed-use properties in Canada with an approximate value of $2.8 billion and comprising approximately 9.1 million square feet of leaseable space.

About the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan

Created in 1960, HOOPP is the pension plan of choice for Ontario's hospital and community-based healthcare sector with over 440 participating healthcare organizations. HOOPP's 274,000 members include nurses, medical technicians, food services staff and laundry workers, and many other people who work hard to provide valued Ontario healthcare services.

About Morguard

Morguard Corporation (TSX: MRC) is a major North American real estate and property management company.  It has extensive retail, office, industrial and residential holdings owned directly and through its investment in Morguard REIT (TSX:  MRT.UN) and Morguard North American Residential REIT (TSX: MRG.UN).  Morguard also provides real estate management services to institutional and other investors.

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