Toronto -- Canadian Tire Corp. plans to spin off most of its real estate assets into a C$3.5 billion (approximately U.S. $3.49 billion) real estate investment trust, with an initial public offering expected later this year. The proposed new REIT would acquire a majority of the company's owned real estate, including approximately 250 properties comprised largely of Canadian Tire Retail stores, Canadian Tire anchored retail developments and one distribution center.
"We are executing a strategy that reinforces the strength of our Company while pursuing new growth opportunities organically and through acquisition," said Stephen Wetmore, president and CEO, Canadian Tire Corporation. "Today's announcement regarding a REIT would increase CTC's financial flexibility, providing us with the ability to access funds at an attractive cost of capital as we continue to invest in and grow our business."
Canadian Tire would retain a significant ownership interest of 80% to 90% of the REIT with the remainder of the REIT's units offered to the public via an initial public offering anticipated in the fall of 2013.
Canadian Tire operates more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets across Canada, and is made up of a variety of companies, including Canadian Tire, Mark’s, FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, S3 and Atmosphere), and Canadian Tire Financial Services.