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George Weston to buy Loblaw out of Choice Properties

Canadian retail giant Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is spinning out its 61.6% stake in Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, as part of a reorganization plan that will result in George Weston Ltd. owning a 65.4% stake in the retail REIT.

George Weston, which currently has a 3.8% direct stake in Choice Properties, will replace Loblaw as the major shareholder of the REIT.

Under the proposed transaction, Loblaw common shareholders, other than George Weston, will receive George Weston common shares that have the same value as their pro rata interest in the REIT.

Loblaw will remain Choice Properties' biggest tenant, and all existing agreements and arrangements with Loblaw, including the strategic alliance agreement and leases, will stay intact after the spinout.

Choice Properties said its management and trustees support the spinout plan, which is not subject to approval from the REIT's unit holders or trustees.