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TORONTO, March 13, 2023 /CNW/ – H&R Real Estate Investment Trust (“H&R” or the “REIT“) (TSX: HR.UN), today announced the appointment of Donald Clow to the REIT’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Clow will fill a vacancy left by Ronald Rutman, who is leaving the Board following a successful term as vice-chair and Independent Lead Trustee. Subsequent to his appointment, the Trustees appointed Mr. Clow as Independent Lead Trustee of the REIT’s Board of Trustees.
Mr. Clow recently retired as a Trustee and President and CEO of Crombie REIT and previously served as a Trustee of Granite REIT.
“Under Don’s leadership, Crombie delivered consistent growth and superior unitholder returns, while achieving record occupancy levels and significantly strengthening the balance sheet,” said Executive Chairman Tom Hofstedter. “His experience and expertise encompass the entire real estate development cycle, from land assembly, acquisitions and divestments, development planning approval and capital structure. We welcome Don as a Trustee of H&R, where his guidance will be invaluable as we seek to accelerate the REIT’s transformation strategy.”
Mr. Clow’s appointment is another milestone in a board renewal process that began in 2017. With Mr. Clow’s appointment to the Board of Trustees, all six of the REIT’s independent trustees have joined the Board within the last three years.
Mr. Hofstedter added, “Our Board renewal process has been aided by our consultation with and feedback from unitholders. While we have heard strong support from unitholders for the REIT’s Transformational Strategic Repositioning Plan announced in 2021, we believe we can achieve further progress on this plan by ensuring we have the right skills and experience on our Board.”
Under this plan, the REIT is repositioning its portfolio to focus on high-quality residential and logistics properties in U.S. gateway and sunbelt cities, while divesting of H&R’s legacy office and retail properties, and streamlining its operating platform.
“The Board thanks Ronnie Rutman for his 27 years of service to H&R, including his eight years as Chair of the Board, and most recently as Vice-Chair and Lead Independent Trustee,” said Mr. Hofstedter.
In 2022, the REIT sold over $463 million in non-core properties and reallocated much of that capital to buy back units through its Normal Course Issuer Bid pursuant to which the REIT bought back and canceled almost $300 million of H&R’s outstanding units, or 22.9 million units in 2022, at a 40% discount to the REIT’s NAV per Unit1. So far in 2023, H&R has announced an agreement to sell 160 Elgin Street in Ottawa, Ontario for $277 million and has plans to accelerate additional asset sales. Meanwhile, the development of $370 million of industrial and U.S. sunbelt residential properties core to H&R’s strategy is progressing well, with embedded value and growth expected to be realized over the next two years. The REIT continues to execute its plan with discipline and a focus on maximizing value for unitholders.
This is a non-GAAP ratio. Refer to the “Non-GAAP Measures” section of this news release.
H&R REIT is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts with total assets of approximately $11.4 billion as at December 31, 2022. H&R REIT has ownership interests in a North American portfolio comprised of high-quality residential, industrial, office and retail properties comprising over 28.7 million square feet.
Certain information in this news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (also known as forward-looking statements) including, among others, statements made or implied relating to H&R’s Transformational Strategic Repositioning Plan, H&R’s objectives, beliefs, plans, estimates, targets, projections and intentions and similar statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by words such as “outlook”, “objective”, “may”, “will”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should”, “plans”, “project”, “budget” or “continue” or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Such forward-looking statements reflect H&R’s current beliefs and are based on information currently available to management.
Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are based on H&R’s estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors including those risks and uncertainties discussed in H&R’s materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time, which could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of H&R to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. Material factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making an estimate set out in the forward-looking statements include assumptions relating to the general economy, including the effects of increased inflation; debt markets continue to provide access to capital at a reasonable cost, notwithstanding rising interest rates; and assumptions concerning currency exchange and interest rates including, for the purposes of expected Same-Property net operating income (cash basis) growth, that there won’t be any change in the currency exchange rate. Additional risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to: real property ownership; the current economic environment; credit risk and tenant concentration; lease rollover risk; interest rate and other debt-related risk; development risks; residential rental risk; capital expenditures risk; currency risk; liquidity risk; risks associated with disease outbreaks; cyber security risk; financing credit risk; ESG and climate change risk; co-ownership interest in properties; general uninsured losses; joint arrangement and investment risks; dependence on key personnel and succession planning; potential acquisition, investment and disposition opportunities and joint venture arrangements; potential undisclosed liabilities associated with acquisitions; competition for real property investments; Unit price risk; potential conflicts of interest; availability of cash for distributions; credit ratings; ability to access capital markets; dilution; unitholder liability; redemption right risk; risks relating to debentures; tax risk; additional tax risks applicable to unitholders; investment eligibility; and statutory remedies. H&R cautions that these lists of factors, risks and uncertainties are not exhaustive. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what H&R believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements.
Readers are also urged to examine H&R’s materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time as they may contain discussions on risks and uncertainties which could cause the actual results and performance of H&R to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. All forward-looking statements in this news release are qualified by these cautionary statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of today and H&R, except as required by applicable Canadian law, assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new information or the occurrence of future events or circumstances.
The audited consolidated financial statements of the REIT and related notes for the year ended December 31, 2022 (the “REIT’s Financial Statements”) were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”). However, H&R’s management uses a number of measures, including NAV per Unit, which do not have meanings recognized or standardized under IFRS or Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”). These non-GAAP measures and non-GAAP ratios should not be construed as alternatives to financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. Further, H&R’s method of calculating these supplemental non-GAAP measures and ratios may differ from the methods of other real estate investment trusts or other issuers, and accordingly may not be comparable. H&R uses these measures to better assess H&R’s underlying performance and provides these additional measures so that investors may do the same. For information on the most directly comparable GAAP measures, composition of the measures, a description of how the REIT uses these measures and an explanation of how these measures provide useful information to investors, refer to the “Non-GAAP Measures” section of the REIT’s management’s discussion and analysis as at and for the three months and year ended December 31, 2022, available at www.hr-reit.com and on the REIT’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, which is incorporated by reference into this news release.
SOURCE H&R Real Estate Investment Trust
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