UPDATE 4-Canadian Tire plans C$3.5 bln REIT, shares soar

Thu May 9, 2013 1:32pm EDT
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* Says will own 80-90 pct of the REIT

* First-quarter profit rises 3 pct

* Same-store sales at namesake retail stores down 2.4 pct

* Shares touch a 5-year high (Adds comment from conference call, details; updates share movement)

By Krithika Krishnamurthy

May 9 (Reuters) - Canadian Tire Corp, best-known for its namesake automotive and homeware stores, said it plans to create a C$3.5 billion ($3.5 billion) real estate investment trust through an initial public offering in the fall of 2013.

The company, which has one of the largest commercial real estate portfolios in Canada, said it would retain 80-90 percent of the REIT after the IPO, which could raise up to $700 million.

Shares of the company rose as much as 18 percent to their highest in nearly six years on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The REIT would own about 18 million square feet of property after acquiring a majority of the company's real estate, including its namesake retail stores, retail developments and a distribution center.   Continued...