Kroger to sell 762 convenience store business to EG Group for $2.15 billion

CINCINNATI and BLACKBURN, United Kingdom, 2018-Feb-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and EG Group, a privately-held petrol forecourt convenience store retailer based in Blackburn, Lancashire, United Kingdom, today (Feb. 5, 2018) announced a definitive agreement for the sale of Kroger’s convenience store business unit to EG Group for $2.15 billion. The companies expect to close the transaction during the first quarter of Kroger’s fiscal year.

As part of the agreement, EG Group will establish their North American headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio and continue to operate stores under their established banner names.

Kroger announced in October 2017 its intention to explore strategic alternatives for its convenience store business, including a potential sale, in conjunction with Restock Kroger.

“Our convenience store business has been a part of our company for many years. We want to thank our management team and associates for their enduring commitment to our customers, and for the contributions they have made to build our supermarket fuel business,” said Mike Schlotman, Kroger’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “As part of our regular review of assets, it has become clear that our strong convenience store business unit will better meet its full potential outside of our business.”

“One of the most important considerations in our decision-making process was continued operations to ensure minimal disruption to our associates. We are very pleased the EG Group plans to establish their North American headquarters in Cincinnati. EG Group is also a recognized international petrol forecourt convenience operator and they have a commercial model which clearly looks to enhance the consumer offer by working with leading retail brands customers know and trust,” said Mr. Schlotman. “This is good for our associates across the country and for our headquarter city of Cincinnati. Throughout the process we were impressed with the EG Group’s professionalism, investment commitment and more importantly their understanding of the US convenience retail market. We now look forward to working with them closely to ensure a smooth transition for associates.”

Mohsin Issa, EG Group Founder and co-CEO expressed “This is an exciting time for EG Group, the entry into the US market presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver a successful retail offer to consumers across the various states. We have had much success across Europe and we firmly believe the Kroger assets present a fantastic foundation to overlay our retail experience and know-how in the US. We are committed to investing in the Kroger network, partnering with leading retail brands and working with the exceptional management team and associates transferring across to deliver a comprehensive retail offer.”

“Our business model is simple but effective – EG Group is creating a stronger relationship between consumers and leading retail brands they want to access. In the US we aim to create a retail environment which delivers convenience, provides value and serves as a retail destination offering excellent welfare to motorists who live and work near our petrol forecourt convenience retail  stores,” added Zuber Issa, EG Group Founder and co-CEO.

Kroger plans to use net proceeds from the sale to repurchase shares and to lower its net total debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio.

Kroger’s convenience store business operates in 18 states.  It includes 66 franchise operations.  The stores employ 11,000 associates and operate under the following banner names: Turkey Hill, Loaf ‘N Jug, Kwik Shop, Tom Thumb and Quik Stop. Kroger’s convenience store business generated revenue of $4 billion, including selling 1.2 billion gallons of fuel, in 2016.

Kroger’s supermarket fuel centers and its Turkey Hill Dairy are not included in the sale.

Additional Information

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.  The company expects the transaction to close quickly as EG Group has no U.S. presence today.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Kroger and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is acting as legal advisor to Kroger.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays are acting as financial advisors to EG Group. Allen & Overy is acting as legal advisor to EG Group.

About Kroger

At The Kroger Co., we are dedicated to our purpose: to Feed the Human SpiritTM. We are 453,000 associates who serve nearly nine million customers every day in 2,793 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Our Family of Companies operates an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized order online service – in addition to 2,258 pharmacies, 307 fine jewelry stores, 222 retail health clinics, 1,472 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Our Company has been recognized as one of America’s most generous companies for our support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. As a leader in supplier diversity, we are a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.

About EG Group

Founded in 2001 by brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa, United Kingdom based EG Group is a leading petrol forecourt retail convenience operator who has established partnerships with global brands such as ESSO, BP, Shell, Carrefour, Louis Delhaize, SPAR, Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, Greggs and Subway.  The business has an established pedigree of delivering a world class fuel, convenience and food-to-go offer.

The EG Group currently employs over 12,500 staff working in over 2,600 sites across various European markets including the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. In 2017, the business secured approximately 1,000 petrol forecourt assets from Esso in Germany which will be transferred and integrated into the existing network in Q4, 2018. With the inclusion of the Kroger assets, EG Group will own and operate circa 4,400 sites across Europe and the US.

EG Group has made a significant commitment to delivering a modern consumer retail offer which exceeds expectations and creates a true ‘one-stop’ retail destination to satisfy multiple consumer missions. The business is regularly recognized for innovation and investment in convenience retail assets, the employees and the systems. Zuber Issa and Mohsin Issa, Founders and co-CEOs of Euro Garages, were jointly named the 2016 NACS Insight European Convenience Industry Leader of the Year.

Prior to including revenue from the convenience stores being acquired from Kroger, EG Group’s European business pro forma revenue (including Italy and Germany) is $14.5bn.  Including the revenue from Kroger’s C-store business gives total EG Group pro forma revenues of $18.5bn.

Further information at www.eurogarages.com

This press release contains forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about the future performance of Kroger. These statements are based on management’s assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. These statements are indicated by words such as “plans” and similar words.  The closing of the transaction will be dependent upon approval receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals and the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions to closing.  Various uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These include the specific risk factors identified in “Risk Factors” and “Outlook” in Kroger’s annual report on Form 10-K for our last fiscal year and any subsequent filings, as well as the following:

Our ability to use free cash flow to continue to maintain our investment grade debt rating and repurchase shares, pay dividends, and fund capital investments, could be affected by unanticipated increases in net total debt, our inability to generate free cash flow at the levels anticipated, and our failure to generate expected earnings.

SOURCE: The Kroger Co.

Kesko to sell its Yamarin boat business to Inha Works Ltd

Helsinki, 2016-Dec-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Konekesko Ltd, part of Kesko Group, has made an agreement to sell its Yamarin boat business to Inha Works Ltd, a subsidiary owned by Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.  The representation of Yamaha’s recreational machinery in Finland transfers From Konekesko Ltd to Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.

Kesko’s strategic objective is growth in the Finnish grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade.

Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. will establish a country office of its own in Finland to be responsible for the sales and marketing and after sales services of Yamaha products and selected boat brands.

“I’m very pleased that the manufacture of Yamarin boats and the import of Yamaha’s recreational machinery will continue in the ownership of our long-standing partner Yamaha Motor Europe. We see that this transaction provides the Finnish Yamarin with the best possible opportunities to progress and grow in both the national and the export market,” says Antti Meriläinen, Senior Vice President, agricultural and machinery trade.

The sale includes Konekesko Ltd’s Yamarin boat business, the import of Yamaha products and the representations of certain other brands. In 2015, the aggregate pro forma net sales of the operations being sold were €65 million. The parties have agreed that the transaction price is not disclosed. The people working in the businesses being disposed of will transfer to the employment of the new operators under their existing contracts in connection with the transaction.

The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and the fulfilment of the other terms and conditions of the transaction. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first half of 2017.

Kesko and K-retailers form the K-Group, whose sales total over €13 billion. The K-Group is the third largest retail operator in northern Europe and it employs approximately 45,000 people. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade. Its divisions and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. Kesko’s net sales are €10 billion and it employs approximately 30,000 people. Kesko has over 1,500 stores engaged in chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Kesko is a listed company and its shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The company’s domicile and main premises are in Helsinki. Kesko is the world’s most sustainable trading sector company (The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World). www.kesko.fi

Yamaha Motor Europe (www.yamaha-motor.eu) based in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) is a full subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Company Limited, Japan, a global leader in the manufacturing and sales of Outboard Motors, Personal Water Craft and other recreational craft (Power Two Wheelers, Golf cars and All-terrain vehicles). In Europe, Yamaha is market leader for Outboard Motors, providing a wide range of models from 2.5 to 350 Horsepower.

Buster Boats, Inha Works Ltd, (www.busterboats.fi) is the largest aluminum boats manufacturer in Europe and one of the leading companies in the Nordic recreational boats market. The Company has a product offering consisting of Buster branded, multi-purpose aluminum boats. Buster key markets consist of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia. Inha Works’ factory is located in Ähtäri and its head office and product development are in Raisio.

Contact:
Antti Meriläinen
SVP
Kesko’s agricultural and machinery trade
antti.jo.merilainen@kesko.fi
tel. +358 105 320 492

Riikka Toivonen
Head of Financial Communications
riikka.toivonen@kesko.fi
tel. +358 105 323 495

Juha Lehtola
President, Buster Boats – Inha Works Ltd.
Juha.Lehtola@busterboats.com
tel. +358 40 550 0624

Remko Visser
Department Manager Sales & Marketing, Marine Division, Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.
remko.visser@yamaha-motor.nl
tel. +31 653 527 241

Source: Kesko Group

Walgreens Boots Alliance to sell 865 Rite Aid stores to Fred’s, Inc. for $950 million

Deerfield, Ill., and Camp Hill, Pa., 2016-Dec-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) announced today (20 December 2016 ) they have entered into an agreement to sell 865 Rite Aid stores and certain assets related to store operations to Fred’s, Inc. (Nasdaq: FRED) for $950 million in an all-cash transaction. The transaction is subject to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approval, the approval and completion of the pending acquisition of Rite Aid by Walgreens Boots Alliance, and other customary closing conditions.

The agreement is being entered into to respond to concerns identified by the FTC in its review of the proposed acquisition of Rite Aid by Walgreens Boots Alliance, which was announced in October 2015. Walgreens Boots Alliance is actively engaged in discussions with the FTC regarding the transaction and is working toward a close of the Rite Aid acquisition in early calendar 2017.

The proposed divestiture transaction, if approved, would establish Fred’s Pharmacy as one of the largest drugstore chains in the United States with significant presence in areas such as the South and on the East and West Coasts. Specific locations of the stores to be divested will be announced upon FTC approval of the Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid merger.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Fred’s Pharmacy would acquire 865 Rite Aid stores and certain assets related to store operations, and expects to continue to employ all store associates and certain field and regional associates related to the operations of the acquired stores upon completion of the divestiture. Fred’s Pharmacy would continue to operate the acquired stores under the Rite Aid banner during a transition period. If the FTC requires divestiture of more than the 865 Rite Aid stores currently contemplated by the purchase agreement and Walgreens Boots Alliance agrees to sell such stores, the purchase agreement requires Fred’s to purchase such additional stores.

Walgreens Boots Alliance continues to expect that it will realize synergies from the acquisition of Rite Aid in excess of $1 billion, to be fully realized within three to four years of closing of the merger. These synergies, as previously disclosed, are expected to be derived primarily from procurement, cost savings and other operational matters.

“We are pleased to have found an experienced pharmacy operator for these stores,” said Walgreens Boots Alliance Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina. “With this agreement, we are moving ahead with important work necessary to obtain approval of our acquisition of Rite Aid. We look forward to continuing to provide our customers and patients with the highest level of care and attention.”

“We greatly appreciate the dedication of our Rite Aid associates who are taking great care of our customers and patients during this period,” said Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley. “We look forward to working closely with Fred’s to ensure a smooth, successful transition for our customers, patients and associates in the divested stores.”

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as Walgreens Boots Alliance’s financial adviser, with Sidley Austin LLP acting as its legal counsel on transaction legal matters and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acting as its legal counsel on antitrust regulatory matters.

Citi acted as Rite Aid’s exclusive financial adviser, with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acting as Rite Aid Corporation’s legal counsel on transaction legal matters and Jones Day acting as its legal counsel on antitrust regulatory matters.

Notes to Editors:

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

The company was created through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014, bringing together two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted health care services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination across the USA and Europe. Walgreens Boots Alliance and the companies in which it has equity method investments together have a presence in more than 25* countries and employ more than 400,000* people. The company is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail and, together with the companies in which it has equity method investments, has over 13,200* stores in 11* countries as well as one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks, with over 390* distribution centers delivering to more than 230,000** pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals each year in more than 20* countries. In addition, Walgreens Boots Alliance is one of the world’s largest purchasers of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products.

The company’s portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands, such as No7, Botanics, Liz Earle and Soap & Glory. More company information is available at www.walgreensbootsalliance.com.

* As of 31 August 2016, using publicly available information for AmerisourceBergen.
** For 12 months ending 31 August 2016, using publicly available information for AmerisourceBergen.

About Rite Aid

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2016 annual revenues of $30.7 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” and “will” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements.

All statements, other than historical facts, including statements regarding the expected timing of the closing of the transactions; the ability of the parties to complete the transactions considering the various closing conditions; the expected benefits of the transactions such as improved operations, enhanced revenues and cash flow, growth potential, market profile and financial strength; the competitive ability and position of the companies following completion of the proposed transactions; and any assumptions underlying any of the foregoing, are forward-looking statements. The inclusion of such statements should not be regarded as a representation that such plans, estimates or expectations will be achieved. These forward-looking statements are based upon current plans, estimates and expectations, are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks related to the possibility that the transactions may not close, including because one or more closing conditions to the transactions, including certain regulatory approvals, may not be satisfied or waived, on a timely basis or otherwise, including that a governmental entity may prohibit, delay or refuse to grant approval for the consummation of the transactions, or may require conditions, limitations or restrictions in connection with such approvals; the risk that there may be a material adverse change of Rite Aid or the acquired stores, or the business of Rite Aid or the acquired stores may suffer as a result of uncertainty surrounding the transactions; risks related to the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the proposed transactions, including the possibility that the expected synergies from the proposed transactions will not be realized or will not be realized within the expected time period; the risk that the businesses and acquired stores, as applicable, will not be integrated successfully; risks associated with the financing of the proposed transactions; disruption from the proposed transactions making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; significant transaction costs; unknown liabilities; the risk of litigation and/or regulatory actions related to the proposed transactions; other business effects, including the effects of industry, market, economic, political or regulatory conditions or changes in federal or state laws or regulations; future exchange or interest rates or credit ratings; changes in tax laws, regulations, rates and policies; competitive developments; and risks and uncertainties discussed in the reports that Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid have filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid expressly disclaim any current intention to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the distribution of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise. A further list and description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2016 and its subsequent filings, and in Rite Aid’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 27, 2016 and its subsequent filings. There can be no assurance that the requisite regulatory approvals will be obtained, or that the transactions will be completed within the required time period. This release does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.

Investors Contact:
Matt Schroeder
717-214-8867
investor@riteaid.com


Media contact:

Ashley Flower
717-975-5718

Source: Rite Aid

SUPERVALU to sell Save-A-Lot business to Onex Corporation for $1.365 billion in cash

MINNEAPOLIS, 2016-Oct-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU) today (Oct. 17, 2016) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement whereby an affiliate of Onex Corporation (TSX:OCX) will acquire SUPERVALU’s Save-A-Lot business for$1.365 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. In connection with the sale, SUPERVALU and Save-A-Lot will enter into a five-year professional services agreement. The sale of Save-A-Lot is expected to be completed by January 31, 2017, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“Today’s announcement is the result of a thorough process to maximize the value of the Save-A-Lot business and best position SUPERVALU for future success,” said SUPERVALU Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Jerry Storch. “SUPERVALU is successfully executing on its long term strategic vision and positioning the Company for continued growth and value creation. We are confident that this transaction will create exciting opportunities for both SUPERVALU and Save-A-Lot.”

“The sale of Save-A-Lot is another important step in SUPERVALU’s transformation. It provides us with a stronger balance sheet that will allow us to further build on our core strengths and growth opportunities,” said SUPERVALU President and CEO, Mark Gross. “It has been a pleasure to work with the Save-A-Lot team, and, once this transaction is completed, I look forward to continuing to work with them as one of our largest professional services customers.”

Under the terms of the professional services agreement, SUPERVALU will provide Save-A-Lot with certain services and support functions for its day-to-day operations, including cloud services, merchandising technology, payroll, finance, and other technology and hosting services.

SUPERVALU expects to use the net proceeds from the sale to prepay at least $750 million against its outstanding term loan balance. The Company intends to use the remaining net sale proceeds to further reduce debt and improve its capital structure, as well as to fund corporate and growth initiatives.

Advisors

Barclays Capital Inc. and Greenhill & Co., LLC acted as financial advisors to SUPERVALU, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as its legal advisor.

Conference Call

As previously announced, SUPERVALU will hold its fiscal 2017 second quarter conference call on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. Central Time, at which time SUPERVALU will also discuss the sale of Save-A-Lot in more detail. The call will be webcast live at www.supervaluinvestors.com (click on microphone icon).

About SUPERVALU

SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest grocery wholesalers and retailers in the U.S. with annual sales of approximately $18 billion. SUPERVALU serves customers across the United States through a network of 3,342 stores composed of 1,773 stores operated by wholesale customers serviced primarily by the Company’s food distribution business; 1,368 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 896 are operated by licensee owners; and 201 traditional retail grocery stores (store counts as of June 18, 2016). Headquartered in Minnesota, SUPERVALU has approximately 40,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU visit www.supervalu.com.

About Save-A-Lot

As one of the largest hard-discount grocery retailers in the United States, Save-A-Lot owns and operates 472 corporate stores, and services and supplies another 896 licensee-owned stores across the country (store counts as of June 18, 2016). With more than 1,300 stores in urban, suburban, and rural areas, Save-A-Lot reaches more than 5 million shoppers each week. Store sizes vary, but in general range in size between approximately 15,000-20,000 square feet. The stores provide a limited selection of national and exclusive store brand products with a focus on its fresh offerings including USDA-inspected beef, pork and poultry, and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Except for the historical and factual information contained herein, the matters set forth in this communication, particularly those pertaining to SUPERVALU’S expectations, guidance, or future operating results, and other statements identified by words such as “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “plans,” “intends,” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the possibility that regulatory and other approvals and conditions to the transaction are not received or satisfied on a timely basis or at all; the possibility that modifications to the terms of the transaction may be required in order to obtain or satisfy such approvals or conditions; the possibility that Supervalu may not fully realize the projected benefits of the transaction; changes in the planned use of proceeds from the transaction; changes in the anticipated timing for closing the transaction; business disruption during the pendency of or following the transaction; diversion of management time on transaction-related issues; and the reaction of customers and other parties to the transaction and other risk factors relating to our business or industry as detailed from time to time in SUPERVALU’s reports filed with the SEC. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this news release. Unless legally required, SUPERVALU undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investor Contact:
Steve Bloomquist
952-828-4144
steve.j.bloomquist@supervalu.com

Media Contact:
Jeff Swanson
952-903-1645
jeffrey.s.swanson@supervalu.com

Source: SUPERVALU INC.

The Well JV to sell the residential component of The Well to Tridel Builders Inc. and Woodbourne Canada Partners III (CA) LP

TORONTO, ONTARIO, 2016-Jul-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — RioCan REIT (TSX:REI.UN), Allied Properties REIT (TSX:AP.UN) and Diamondcorp(collectively, “The Well JV”) today announced that they have entered into a binding agreement to sell the residential component of The Well to Tridel Builders Inc. and Woodbourne Canada Partners III (CA) LP for approximately $180 million, subject to certain closing conditions.

The Well JV acquired 7.67 acres on the northwest corner of Front Street West and Spadina Avenue (the “Site”) in late 2012 and early 2013 for a purchase price of $170 million. The Well JV has received Official Plan approval for over three million square feet of mixed-use density on the Site. The City’s Design Review Panel has referred to the proposal as enlightened urbanism. Approximately 1.43 million square feet of the density is currently expected to be residential which will include a mix of both condominium and rental apartments. RioCan will remain a 50% co-owner of one of the rental buildings representing approximately 400,000 square feet of residential rental density. The remainder of the site is being divided between office and retail density in a ratio of approximately two to one, which is intended to be retained by The Well JV. As one of the few remaining developable sites in Downtown Toronto, the strong locational attributes of The Well will be further enhanced by the recent announcement from the Province of Ontario to locate a future transit stop adjacent to the site.

The current buildings on the Site are occupied by tenants expected to vacate on or before the end of 2016. The Well JV is working toward pre-leasing a significant portion of the office component of The Well and is optimistic that a lead tenant will be secured in the near term. The Well JV intends to initiate the development in early 2017, which will involve excavation of the Site and construction of the entire underground parking and loading structure. Tridel and Woodbourne will participate in this and other phases of the construction and pay for their share of the underground parking spaces required for the residential component of The Well in accordance with an agreed formula. With the addition of the residential partners, the intention is to complete the entire development during one continuous construction period rather than a phased in approach.

The sale is scheduled to close upon requisite land severances being granted and upon completion of the underground parking structure and building podiums. This is estimated to occur in early 2020.

“We are very pleased to partner with Tridel and Woodbourne. They bring with them to The Well a tremendous amount of experience and expertise developing high rise residential,” said Edward Sonshine, CEO of RioCan. “This is an excellent transaction for our development group which will greatly assist in managing the development risk of a project of this magnitude, and will allow the consortium to fully develop The Well in a single phased development. We are excited to combine the office and residential components with a unique, destinational retail offering that will be integrated into the community.”

“This is a solid step forward in the execution of one of the largest and most important intensification projects in Downtown Toronto,” said Michael Emory, President & CEO of Allied. “In addition to reducing the risk and enhancing the potential return for the initial co-owners, it brings the expertise necessary to initiate construction of the entire project within the timeframe originally contemplated and to ensure that the office, retail and residential uses compliment one and other as fully as possible.”

“We are pleased that we are able to partner with companies of the caliber of Tridel and Woodbourne. They have embraced our vision for the site, which has been developed through extensive collaboration with the local community and the City’s Planning Department,” said Stephen Diamond, President & CEO of Diamondcorp.

Cautionary Statements – Allied Properties REIT
This press release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to Allied, its operations, strategy, financial performance and condition. These statements generally can be identified by use of forward looking words such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “intends”, “believe” or “continue” or the negative thereof or similar variations. The actual results and performance of Allied discussed herein could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Such statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations, including that the transactions contemplated herein are completed. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, among other things, general economic and market factors, competition, changes in government regulations and the factors described under “Risk Factors” in Allied’s Annual Information Form, which is available a twww.sedar.com. These cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to Allied and persons acting on Allied’s behalf. Unless otherwise stated, all forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and the parties have no obligation to update such statements.

Cautionary Statements – RioCan REIT
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. This information includes, but is not limited to, statements made with respect to RioCan’s development program and other statements concerning RioCan’s objectives, its strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to management’s beliefs, plans, estimates, and intentions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts. Forward-looking information generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “outlook”, “objective”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should”, “plan”, “continue”, or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Such forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to management. All forward-looking information in this News Release is qualified by these cautionary statements.

Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future events or performance and, by its nature, is based on RioCan’s current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described under “Risks and Uncertainties” in RioCan’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the period ended March 31, 2016, the Trust’s most recent Annual Report and Annual Information Form, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this News Release. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those related to: liquidity and general market conditions; tenant concentrations and related risk of bankruptcy or restructuring (and the terms of any bankruptcy or restructuring proceeding), defaults, including the failure to fulfill contractual obligations by the tenant or a related party thereof; retailer competition; access to debt and equity capital; interest rate and financing risk; joint ventures and partnerships; the relative illiquidity of real property; development risk associated with construction commitments, project costs and related approvals; environmental matters; and property management. Although the forward looking information contained in this News Release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Certain statements included in this News Release may be considered “financial outlook” for purposes of applicable securities laws, and such financial outlook may not be appropriate for purposes other than this News Release.

The Income Tax Act (Canada) contains provisions which potentially impose tax on publicly traded trusts (the SIFT Provisions). However, the SIFT Provisions do not impose tax on a publicly traded trust which qualifies as a REIT. RioCan currently qualifies as a real estate investment trust for Canadian tax purposes and intends to qualify for future years. Should this not occur, certain statements contained in this News Release may need to be modified.

Except as required by applicable law, RioCan undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Allied
Allied Properties REIT is a leading owner, manager and developer of urban office environments that enrich experience and enhance profitability for business tenants operating in Canada’s major cities. Its objectives are to provide stable and growing cash distributions to unitholders and to maximize unitholder value through effective management and accretive portfolio growth.

About RioCan
RioCan is Canada’s largest real estate investment trust with a total enterprise value of approximately $16 billion as at March 31, 2016. RioCan owns and manages Canada’s largest portfolio of shopping centres with ownership interests in a portfolio of 303 Canadian retail and mixed use properties, including 16 properties under development, containing an aggregate net leasable area of 46 million square feet. For further information, please refer to RioCan’s website at www.riocan.com.

About Diamondcorp
Diamond Corp. is a Toronto real estate development company with a strong commitment to developing high quality, innovative and award-winning residential and mixed-use projects. Diamond Corp. is committed to progressive city building rooted in a legacy and tradition of quality and innovation.

Contact Information:
RioCan REIT
Edward Sonshine, O. Ont., Q.C.
Chief Executive Officer of RioCan
(416) 866-3018
sonshine@riocan.com

Allied Properties REIT
Michael R. Emory
President & Chief Executive Officer of Allied
(416) 977-9002
memory@alliedreit.com

Diamondcorp
Stephen Diamond
President & Chief Executive Officer of Diamondcorp
(416)342-5407
stephen@diamondcorp.com

Source: RioCan

British Land to sell seven storey building at 334-348 Oxford Street, London to a private investor for £400 million

LONDON, 2016-Jul-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — British Land announces that it has exchanged contracts for the sale of 334-348 Oxford Street, London to a private investor for £400 million.

The asset is a seven storey building located near Bond Street Underground Station in London’s core West End shopping district. The building is let in its entirety to Debenhams until 2039.

In addition, British Land has exchanged on £99 million of further Retail disposals since 31 March 2016, including £79 million of superstores, 3.1% ahead of March valuations. These transactions bring total Retail disposals since the year end to £499 million.

Since the EU Referendum, British Land has exchanged 11 long term Retail leases totalling 50,000 sq ft and £2.1 million of rent on terms agreed prior to the Referendum. The leases are spread across our Regional and Local portfolios to a range of occupiers including Yo! Sushi, Nando’s, River Island, Pret A Manger, Byron and Waterstones. In aggregate these lettings are 4.7% ahead of March 2016 ERVs. A further 210,000 sq ft of Retail lettings are under offer

Chris Grigg, Chief Executive said:
“The disposal of Debenhams on Oxford Street reflects our strategic focus on multi-let assets within the Retail portfolio. British Land has entered this period of post-referendum uncertainty in a robust position. We have a strong, resilient business with a clear strategy. We have a modern portfolio which is well suited to current and future customer needs. The portfolio is 99% occupied with a wide range of quality occupiers on long leases. Our finances are strong with an LTV of 29.7%, proforma for exchanged disposals, and the group has no refinancing requirement for over four years. Our speculative development commitments are low at 4% of the portfolio and we have considerable flexibility in our development pipeline.”

British Land will announce its Q1 trading update on the 18 July 2016.

This release contains certain “forward-looking” statements reflecting, among other things, current views on our markets, activities and prospects. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances that may or may not occur and which may be beyond British Land’s ability to control or predict (such as changing political, economic or market circumstances).  Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from any outcomes or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of British Land speak only as of the date they are made and no representation or warranty is given in relation to them, including as to their completeness or accuracy or the basis on which they were prepared.  Except to the extent required by law, British Land does not undertake to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect any changes in British Land’s expectations with regard thereto or any changes in information, events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.Forward-Looking Statements

Notes to Editors:

About British Land – all figures as at last valuation date of 31 March 2016
We are one of Europe’s largest publicly listed real estate companies. We own, manage, develop and finance a portfolio of high quality commercial property, focused on retail locations around the UK and London offices. We have total assets in the UK, owned or managed, of £20.0 billion (of which British Land share is £14.6 billion) as valued at 31 March 2016. Our properties are home to over 1,200 different organisations ranging from international brands to local start-ups. Our objective is to deliver long term and sustainable total returns to our shareholders and we do this by focusing on Places People Prefer. People have a choice where they work, shop and live and we aim to create outstanding places which make a positive difference to people’s everyday lives. Our customer orientation enables us to develop a deep understanding of the people who use our places. We employ a lean team of experts, who have the skills to translate this understanding into creating the right places, and we have an efficient capital structure which is able to finance these places effectively.

Retail assets account for 50% of our portfolio. As the UK’s largest listed owner and manager of retail space, our portfolio is well matched to the different ways people shop today. We are focused on being the destination of choice for retailers and their customers by being the best provider of spaces and services. Comprising over 20 million sq ft of retail space across multi-lets, superstores, department stores and leisure assets, the retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats.

Our Office and Residential portfolio, which accounts for 48% of our portfolio, is focused on London.  We have an attractive mix of high quality buildings in well managed environments and a pipeline of development projects which will add significantly to our portfolio. Increasingly, our Offices are in mixed-use environments which include retail and residential elements. Our 7.5 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Regent’s Place and Paddington Central in the West End and Broadgate, the premier City office campus (50% share).

The remaining 2% of our portfolio is at Canada Water where we have a 46 acre redevelopment opportunity in our medium term pipeline.

Our industry-leading sustainability strategy is a powerful tool to deliver lasting value for all our stakeholders. By supporting communities, improving environments and growing economies, we create Places People Prefer and enhance long term returns.

In April 2016 British Land received the 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday honours. The Award is the UK’s highest accolade for business success and is given to companies which bring major economic, social and environmental benefits through their own business success.  It was awarded to British Land for continuous achievement in all these areas over the last five years.

For Information Contact
Investor Relations
Jonathan Rae, British Land 020 7467 2938
Media
Pip Wood, British Land 020 7467 2838
Gordon Simpson, Finsbury 020 7251 3801
Guy Lamming, Finsbury

Source: British Land

The Gymboree Corporation to sell Gymboree Play & Music to ZEAVION Holding

SAN FRANCISCO, 2016-Jul-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Gymboree Corporation (“Gymboree” or the “Company”) today announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to sell its early childhood development business, Gymboree Play & Music (“Play & Music”), to ZEAVION Holding (“ZEAVION”), a privately-held company with a focus on the education and entertainment sectors. Pursuant to the terms of the transaction, Gymboree will receive $127.5 million in cash proceeds from ZEAVION, approximately $80 million net of estimated taxes. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur by mid-July, and is subject to certain closing conditions and post-closing purchase price adjustments. If closing does not occur by mid-July, Gymboree has the right to terminate the definitive agreements and retain a $20 million nonrefundable deposit.

Upon closing of the transaction, ZEAVION will own the entire global Play & Music business, including its central operations and centers in North America. ZEAVION has also agreed to acquire the intellectual property of Play & Music’s curriculum and certain related trademarks. The Gymboree Corporation’s global apparel business and related retail brands are not part of the transaction.

“Today marks a positive next step in the growth of Play & Music, which was founded just over 40 years ago,” said Mark Breitbard, CEO of Gymboree. “Play & Music pioneered a unique model for giving children around the world the opportunity to learn and grow through art, music and early education. Gymboree is proud to have built a strong foundation for the Play & Music business and we are excited about ZEAVION’s commitment to education and plan to grow this great brand. Play & Music is well positioned for this next chapter, while Gymboree will continue to focus on its core retail businesses.”

“I am humbled by the opportunity to grow the Play & Music brand with a focus on strengthening its profitability through strategic investments in R&D and product innovation,” added Jack Shi, founder of ZEAVION. “I am a longtime, firm believer in the power of education and learning at an early age and its impact on human growth and development. Play & Music has created something truly special and I look forward to working with the global team, with whom I’ve established a positive relationship.”

About The Gymboree Corporation

The Gymboree Corporation’s specialty retail brands offer unique, high-quality products delivered with personalized customer service. As of April 30, 2016, the Company operated a total of 1,303 retail stores: 592 Gymboree® stores (543 in the United States, 48 in Canada and 1 in Puerto Rico), 175 Gymboree Outlet stores (174 in the United States and 1 in Puerto Rico), 149 Janie and Jack® shops (148 in the United States and 1 in Puerto Rico) and 387 Crazy 8® stores in the United States. The Company also operates online stores at www.gymboree.com, www.janieandjack.com and www.crazy8.com.

About Gymboree Play & Music

Founded in 1976, Gymboree Play & Music offers children ages newborn to 5 years the opportunity to explore, learn and play in an innovative parent-child program. Gymboree Play & Music offers an array of classes developed by early childhood experts, as well as birthday parties and developmental toys, books and music. Gymboree Play & Music classes are available through more than 733 franchised and company-operated centers in the United States, Canada and 40 other countries.

About ZEAVION Holding

ZEAVION Holding, founded by Jack Shi, is a Singapore-based company with a focus on business development and investment in the education and entertainment sectors. Mr. Shi is an entrepreneur, who has spent over 30 years building Feixiang Group from a 10-person workshop to a global enterprise that has worked with a number of Fortune 500 companies. In addition to his entrepreneurial role, Mr. Shi is also a respected investor who focuses on true brand and equity value which can be achieved through long term investments in talent, R&D and continuous innovation.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Any statements set forth above that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such statements include statements as to: the expected benefits of the sale of the Play & Music business to Gymboree; and the future prospects of Gymboree’s core retail business after the closing; the estimated tax, which is preliminary and subject to adjustment when finalized; and other statements identified by words such as “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “plans,” “will” and similar expressions. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, such factors as: the possibility that the transaction may not be consummated, including as a result of any of the conditions precedent; the risk of ZEAVION being unable to obtain sufficient financing to complete the acquisition; the risk of global market downturn conditions and volatilities impacting the completion of the acquisition or the funding; the diversion of our management’s attention from the management of our core retail business; unfavorable currency exchange rates; and the impact of competition and other risk factors relating to our industry and business as detailed from time to time in Gymboree’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company cautions investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

Contacts:

Weber Shandwick US
Arielle Patrick
(212) 445-8470
APatrick@webershandwick.com

Doug Myers(415) 262-5919
DMyers@webershandwick.com

Weber Shandwick Beijing
Zheng Xi
+861085692330
Xzheng@webershandwick.com

Source: Gymboree