InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust
TSX : INN.UN
TSX : INN.DB.A
TSX : INN.DB.B

InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust

April 06, 2009 14:16 ET

Leading proxy advisory firm recommends election of management nominees to board of InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 6, 2009) - InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust ("InnVest") (TSX:INN.UN) today announced that RiskMetrics Group, a leading North American independent proxy advisory firm, has recommended that InnVest Unitholders vote in favour of the nominees to the Board of Trustees proposed by management and reject the slate nominated by dissident unitholder Royal Host Real Estate Investment Trust. RiskMetrics recommends that InnVest Unitholders vote in support of the Board and management on all proposals presented on the BLUE proxy, including the adoption of the Second Amended and Restated Unitholders Rights Plan (the "Rights Plan").

RiskMetrics Group, through its subsidiary ISS Governance Services, is Canada's leading provider of corporate governance and proxy voting solutions and provides proxy research, voting services and corporate governance advisory services to financial institutions and corporations worldwide.

In making its recommendation to its clients, RiskMetrics noted that Royal Host has provided no reasons for seeking to replace the independent trustees nor any plans should it succeed in gaining control of InnVest. It also noted that the limited information provided by Royal Host indicates that its nominees all have "close relationships" with Royal Host Chairman and fellow nominee George Armoyan. Regarding the Rights Plan, RiskMetrics has noted that the plan adopted by InnVest meets RiskMetrics' new generation guidelines for rights plans and therefore its adoption is recommended for the benefit of all InnVest Unitholders. A copy of the Rights Plan is available on SEDAR.

"We welcome the independent and positive recommendations from RiskMetrics," said Kenneth D. Gibson, InnVest's President and Chief Executive Officer. "It confirms our view that InnVest's experienced nominees are best suited to serving the long-term interests of Unitholders. We believe that it is inappropriate for Royal Host, as a competitor in our industry, to have access to InnVest Board deliberations, much less to control InnVest through the majority of the Board positions. We urge InnVest Unitholders to follow the recommendations of RiskMetrics and vote only the BLUE proxy in favour of the InnVest nominees and the adoption of the Rights Plan."

Unitholders are advised to discard any proxy which may be received in connection with the annual and special meeting other than the BLUE proxy that was provided with the Management Information Circular issued by InnVest and dated March 4, 2009.

InnVest's annual and special meeting of Unitholders will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. (Toronto time) at the St. Andrew's Club & Conference Centre, 150 King Street West, 16th Floor, Toronto. Unitholders who cannot attend the Meeting in person are asked to complete the BLUE proxy and return it to Computershare Investor Services Inc., 100 University Avenue, 9th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2Y1 no later than 5:00 p.m. (Toronto time) on Thursday, April 9, 2009.

Unitholders with questions or who need assistance in voting their proxy are encouraged to contact Kingsdale Shareholder Services Inc., InnVest's proxy solicitor, toll-free at 1-866-879-7644.

TRUST PROFILE

InnVest REIT holds Canada's largest hotel portfolio together with an interest in Choice Hotels Canada Inc. the largest franchisor of hotels in Canada. The hotel portfolio currently comprises 146 hotel properties, with over 19,000 guest rooms, operated under internationally recognized franchise brands such as Comfort Inn®, Holiday Inn®, Quality Suites/Inn®, Radisson®, Delta®, Travelodge®, Hilton® Staybridge Suites®, Fairmont Hotels®, Sheraton Suites® and Best Western®. InnVest's trust units and outstanding convertible debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols INN.UN, INN.DB.A, INN.DB.B and INN.DB.C, respectively.

(i)Note: Permission to quote from the RiskMetrics report was neither sought nor obtained.

Contact Information

  • Kingsdale Shareholder Services
    1-866-879-7644

    InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust
    Kenneth D. Gibson
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (905) 206-7100
    Fax: (905) 206-7114

    InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust
    Tamara L. Lawson
    Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary
    (905) 206-7100
    Fax: (905) 206-7114
    Website: www.innvestreit.com