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Eves named to board of real estate trust

First private-sector appointment for ex-finance minister

National Post - March 6, 2001
by Garry Marr


Ernie Eves, former Ontario finance minister, has taken his first board appointment in the private sector as an independent trustee for Retirement Residences Real Estate Investment Trust.

The REIT has filed a preliminary prospectus for an initial public offering of units and in it Mr. Eves is named as a trustee. William Davis, the former premier of Ontario, will chair the board.

Under the terms of the closing, the REIT will acquire almost all of the assets of Central Park Lodges Ltd., which include 74 retirement homes, most of which are in Canada. With 7,200 residents, Retirement Residences REIT will become the largest provider of residential senior accommodations and related services in Canada.

After the offering closes, Central Park Lodges will own less than 50% of the REIT. Marketing of the offering started yesterday and the pricing is scheduled for the week of March 26.

The offering is being underwritten by a syndicate led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., and includes Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc., TD Securities Inc., National Bank Financial Inc. and Raymond James Ltd. Retirement Residences hopes to raise $200-million.

"Obviously, having Mr. Eves is a big asset. All of the trustees are big assets, they are very respected," said Manfred Walt, chief financial officer of Central Park Lodges and Retirement Residences REIT.

Central Park Lodges is a privately held company 70% owned by the Reichmann family of Torronto. Paul Reichmann led the family bid into Central Park back in 1994 and expanded the retirement home operator from 14 to 63 locations in Canada. It also has operations in the United States.

Mr. Reichmann and Barry Reichmann, his son, will serve on the board. George Kuhl, whose family owns the other 30% of Central Park Lodges, also will serve on the board.

Mr. Eves announced last month that he was stepping down as finance minister. The 54-year-old took a job as vice-chairman and senior advisor of Credit Suisse First Boston Canada. Reports said the job would pay him US$250,000 but his bonus package starts at US$1-million. Either way, it's a jump from his $111,000 salary as finance minister.


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