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TORONTO (Reuters) - Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust said on Thursday it is acquiring the SmartCentres platform from Mitchell Goldhar as part of a C$1.16 billion ($952 million) deal that will make Calloway a fully integrated real estate developer and operator.
On closing of the proposed deal, Toronto-based Calloway said, it intends to change its name to SmartREIT to reflect its enhanced capabilities.
Goldhar, who himself owns a sizable stake in Calloway and is a member of its board, has made a fortune by developing shopping centers across Canada, including the first Wal-Mart store in the country.
Calloway said the platform it is acquiring has developed a network of more than 50 million square feet of retail space over the last 20 years, including more than 170 Walmart stores.
SmartCentres, Canada's largest developer of retail real estate, also provides development, leasing and other property services to Calloway and other shopping center clients.
Calloway said the transaction also includes interests in a C$1.1 billion portfolio of 24 properties located principally in Ontario and Quebec, including 20 open format Walmart Supercentre-anchored shopping centers owned by Goldhar and partners such as Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc.
Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Steve Orlofsky