Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Cominar Changes Chief Executive as REIT Repositions It Operations

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Cominar Changes Chief Executive as REIT Repositions It Operations

Article excerpt

Cominar REIT making changes at the top

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MONTREAL - Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust is replacing its chief executive as Quebec's largest commercial property owner repositions its operations to focus on its key markets in Quebec and the Ottawa region.

Sylvain Cossette, president and chief operating officer since joining the firm in 2013, will take over on Jan. 1 from Michel Dallaire, who has held the position since 2005.

Cossette said Cominar's (TSX:CUF.UN) plan to reduce its debt, improve its occupancy rate and focus its activities on the Quebec market are key to driving the fund's organic growth and financial health.

The trust announced in August plans to unload about 100 properties following a ratings downgrade. It expects to allocate more than $1.2 billion in expected proceeds primarily to reduce its debt. The remaining $325 million will be used to repurchase units and for acquisitions in core markets.

Alban D'Amours, the lead independent trustee, thanked Dallaire for his contribution, calling him "a true builder and visionary who propelled Cominar to become one of Quebec's most respected real estate businesses. …

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