(Reuters) - Loblaw Companies Ltd L.TO, Canada’s largest grocer, said on Thursday it plans to create a real estate investment trust to acquire a significant portion of Loblaw’s real estate assets, a move that potentially unlocks additional value for shareholders.
The company said it plans to sell units of the REIT by way of an initial public offering and it estimates that Loblaw will initially contribute real estate worth over C$7 billion ($7.05 billion) into the REIT.
Loblaw, majority owned by George Weston Ltd WN.TO, said it intends to retain a significant majority interest in the REIT.
The IPO is expected to be completed in mid-2013, subject to prevailing market conditions and receipt of required regulatory approvals, the company said.
Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick