Loblaw to Create One of the Largest Real Estate Investment Trusts in Canada

Loblaw to Create One of the Largest Real Estate Investment Trusts in Canada 
BRAMPTON, ON, Dec. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L) ("Loblaw" 
or the "Company") today announced its intention to create a Real Estate 
Investment Trust ("REIT") to acquire a significant portion of Loblaw's real 
estate assets and to sell units of the REIT by way of an Initial Public 
Offering ("IPO"). Loblaw estimates that it will initially contribute real 
estate with a current market value exceeding $7 billion to the REIT and 
intends to retain a significant majority interest. The IPO is expected to be 
completed in mid-2013, subject to prevailing market conditions and receipt of 
required regulatory approvals including approval to list the units on the 
Toronto Stock Exchange. 

    --  Unlock value for Loblaw shareholders
    --  Create a standalone real estate-focused vehicle to maximize the
        value of the Company's real estate portfolio
    --  Lower the cost of capital for real estate and accelerated store
        development projects

"The creation of the REIT is expected to build long-term value both for Loblaw 
and the REIT," said Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies 
Limited. "This strategic initiative positions Loblaw's core businesses well 
for the future. We expect the REIT to not only unlock value for our 
shareholders, but also increase our financial capacity to pay-down debt, buy 
back shares, and create a long-term source of capital to invest and grow.

"The REIT - which we expect to be one of Canada's largest - builds on our 
longstanding commitment to owning and developing quality real estate," 
continued Mr. Weston. "It will be a vehicle to manage and enhance our real 
estate portfolio with the potential for future expansion through incremental 
vending in of our own real estate and external investment opportunities."

Loblaw's real estate portfolio spans an estimated 47 million square feet and 
has a current estimated market value of $9 billion to $10 billion. As part of 
the transaction, Loblaw intends to contribute approximately 35 million square 
feet to the REIT, and will enter into long-term lease arrangements with the 
REIT on those properties. The contributed real estate portfolio will be 
largely retail focused and comprise a geographically diverse mix of stores and 
shopping centres, and will also include warehouses and office buildings.

Loblaw expects that as a standalone entity, the REIT will benefit from a lower 
cost of capital, which will support its development and expansion. Growth will 
also come from Loblaw's contribution of additional properties over time as 
well as opportunities outside of the Loblaw footprint. The REIT will have a 
dedicated management team focused on overseeing the contributed properties and 
growing the portfolio, while Loblaw will provide support and various services.

Loblaw expects to consolidate the REIT's financial results for financial 
reporting purposes and believes the Company's consolidated profitability will 
be minimally impacted. The contemplated transaction is not expected to 
affect Loblaw's investment grade credit rating.

The company will host a conference call at 9:00 a.m. (ET), as well as an audio 
webcast. To access via tele-conference please dial (647) 427-7450. The 
playback will be made available two hours after the event at (416) 849-0833, 
access code: 78891090. To access via audio webcast please go to the "Investor 
Centre" section of loblaw.ca. Pre-registration will be available.

Forward-Looking Statements

This News Release contains forward-looking statements about the Company's 
objectives, plans, goals, aspirations, intentions, strategies, prospects and 
opportunities. Forward-looking statements in this News Release include 
statements relating to the proposed REIT transaction and expected future 
attributes of the REIT following the transaction; the anticipated benefits of 
the transaction to Loblaw and its shareholders; the expected ratings impact to 
Loblaw; Loblaw's expected ownership level in the REIT; the timing of the 
potential transactions; and that applicable regulatory approvals will be 
obtained. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but 
reflect the Company's current expectations concerning future plans, actions 
and results. These statements are subject to a number of risks and 
uncertainties that could cause actual plans, actions and results to differ 
materially from current expectations including, but not limited to, 
unanticipated developments that may delay or negatively impact the proposed 
transaction, changes in economic and market conditions, and other risks and 
uncertainties discussed in the Company's materials filed with the Canadian 
securities regulatory authorities from time to time, including the Enterprise 
Risks and Risk Management section of the Management's Discussion and Analysis 
("MD&A") and the MD&A included in the Company's 2011 Annual Report - Financial 
Review. There can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be 
completed as anticipated or at all. Readers are cautioned not to place undue 
reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's 
expectations only as of the date of this News Release. The Company disclaims 
any intention or obligation to update or revise these forward-looking 
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or 
otherwise, except as required by law.

About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's 
largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise 
and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private 
sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised 
stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 
135,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store 
formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and 
successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household 
demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and 
value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) 
label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe 
Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers 
President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty 

Kim Lee Vice President, Investor Relations 905-459-2500 investor@loblaw.ca

SOURCE: Loblaw Companies Limited

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 

CO: Loblaw Companies Limited
ST: Ontario

-0- Dec/06/2012 12:00 GMT

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.