GWL Acquires Four Shopping Centres from Wal-Mart and SmartCentres

The Great-West Life Assurance Company (“GWL”) and its affiliates completed the acquisition of the joint interests of Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. (“Wal-Mart”) and SmartCentres Realty Inc. (“SmartCentres”) in two shopping centres located in the greater Toronto area, one shopping centre located in Saskatoon and one shopping centre located in the greater Montreal area.

The properties totalled approximately 750,000 square feet of currently built area altogether, and approximately 1.1 million square feet upon completion.

The properties are anchored by Walmart stores, which represent approximately 78 per cent of the currently occupied space (by gross leasable area) and will represent approximately 55 per cent of the occupied space upon completion.

The purchase price for the existing income of the properties was approximately $202 million, with future development to be paid for under an earn-out structure.

GWL and its affiliates were represented by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, with a team that included Chris Huband, Lauren Temple and Gerry Swinkin (real estate); Debbie Salzberger and Aleksandra Petkovic (competition); Paul Stepak and Barbara Mazur (tax) in Toronto and Neil Katz and Stephanie Martel (real estate) in Montreal; with assistance from Patricia Warsaba, QC, of McKercher LLP in Regina.

Wal-Mart and SmartCentres were represented by Wal-Mart in-house counsel Scott Burke and SmartCentres in-house counsel Joseph Amato, respectively, by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, with a team that included Gregory Howard, Steven Martin, Matthew Singerman and Pawel Mielcarek (real estate) and Anita Banicevic (competition).

Also acting were Brett Tkatch and Jeffrey Warren of Blaney McMurtry LLP in Ontario; Neil MacKay, QC, of MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP in Saskatoon; and Daniel Martin of De Grandpré Chait LLP in Quebec.