On June 22, 2006, The Great-West Life Assurance Company and London Life Insurance Company acquired all of the units of TGS North American Real Estate Investment Trust. The acquiror was Red Mile Acquisitions Inc., a special-purpose vehicle set up by GWL, and the REIT assets will ultimately be owned by the two lifeco's on behalf of their real estate segregated funds.
The transaction was negotiated by Great-West Life's real estate advisory subsidiary, GWL Realty Advisors Inc., and the transaction was effected by way of issue of new REIT units to the acquiror and the redemption of the existing REIT units.
The purchase price was approximately $265 million and the enterprise value was approximately $410 million. The transaction is the first acquisition of a REIT by a Canadian life insurance company. The REIT's properties are located in Alberta, British Columbia and Texas.
Great-West Life, London Life and GWL Realty Advisors were represented by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP with a team that included Jennifer Allen, Frank Arnone, Rob Collins, Rick Dawson, Karla Everatt, Navin Joneja, Lindsay Keele, Kate McGilvray, Jeff Merrick, Mark Rushton, Melanie Sanchez, John Sawicki, Ken Snider and Larry Winton. Willard Taylor of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York acted as US tax advisor to GWL, and Mike Elrod of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in San Antonio provided US real estate and anti-trust advice to GWL.
The REIT was represented by McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Calgary with a team that included Crispin Arthur, Keith Burrell, Andrew Grasby, Andrea Hatzinikolas, Stephen Livergant and Rick Pawluk.