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H&R REIT to sell $600 million of grocery-anchored retail properties

Recent announcement is part of a strategic repositioning plan to focus on residential and industrial sectors, the company says

H&R Real Estate Investment Trust, one of Canada's largest landlords, announced a plan to spin off or sell its retail and office properties in a bid to focus on the residential and industrial sector.

The trust says it will spin off its Primaris properties including all of its enclosed shopping malls to a new publicly traded REIT that it will create with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.

Immediately following the spinoff, H&R unitholders will own a 74% stake in Primaris, while HOOPP will own 26%.

H&R also says it will sell $600 million of grocery-anchored and essential service retail properties, its $470-million equity interest in Echo Realty LP and $2.3 billion in office properties.

It says the money from the sales will be used to fund its multi-residential and industrial development pipeline and for acquisitions in key markets in Canada and the U.S.

The moves follow H&R's sale of the Bow office tower in Calgary and the Bell office campus in Mississauga, Ont., for a total of $1.47 billion in gross proceeds.

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