Counsel Corporation
TSX : CXS

Counsel Corporation

July 19, 2005 16:35 ET

Huntingdon REIT to Acquire Nine Retail Centres Owned and/or Managed by Counsel Corporation

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 19, 2005) - Huntingdon Real Estate Investment Trust ("HREIT") (TSX VENTURE:HNT.UN) announced today that it has conditionally agreed to acquire nine retail shopping centres (the "Centres"), which are owned and/or managed by Counsel Corporation ("Counsel") (TSX:CXS), for an aggregate purchase price of $133 million, subject to the usual closing adjustments as well as holdbacks with respect to the completion of remerchandising plans for several of the Centres. HREIT will be assuming approximately $47 million of mortgage debt as part of the acquisition.

The Centres are located in Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan and have an aggregate net rentable area of approximately 1.3 million square feet. Six of the Centres are wholly-owned by Counsel and Counsel owns approximately 50% of one of the other three Centres. The remaining two Centres are managed by Counsel for third parties. The aggregate purchase price for the seven centres in which Counsel has an ownership interest is approximately $90 million, with mortgage debt of approximately $44 million and remerchandising cost obligations of approximately $10 million.

The acquisition of the Centres is expected to close by the end of August 2005, subject to standard due diligence and satisfaction of certain conditions.

About Huntingdon Real Estate Investment Trust

HREIT is a real estate investment trust, which is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol HNT.UN. The objective of HREIT is to provide its Unitholders with stable cash distributions from investment in a geographically diversified Canadian portfolio of quality commercial and industrial properties. For further information on HREIT, please visit its website at www.hreit.ca.

About Counsel Corporation

Counsel Corporation is a diversified company with operations in three specific sectors: communications, real estate and long-term care. Counsel's communications platform is focused on its existing communications investment, Acceris Communications Inc. (OTCBB:ACRS). Counsel's real estate platform has a focused strategy of investing in and developing income producing commercial properties, primarily retail shopping centres. Counsel's long-term care business consists of the operations of seven nursing homes in Ontario. For further information, please visit Counsel's website at www.counselcorp.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

The statements made in this release that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, which address HREIT's or Counsel Corporation's expectations, should be considered as forward-looking statements and involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements are based on knowledge of the environment in which they currently operate, but because of the factors herein listed, as well as other factors beyond their control, actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ from anticipated results include, but are not limited to, obtaining necessary approvals and other risks detailed from time to time in the companies' securities and other regulatory filings.

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed or approved the contents of this press release and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

Contact Information

  • Huntingdon REIT
    Arni Thorsteinson
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    (204) 475-9090
    or
    Huntingdon REIT
    Gino Romagnoli
    Investor Relations
    (204) 475-9090
    (204) 452-5505 (FAX)
    info@hreit.ca
    or
    Counsel Corporation
    Stephen Weintraub
    Executive Vice President and Secretary
    (416) 866-3058
    saw@counselcorp.com