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NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust Releases Strong Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Results – Canada NewsWire



TORONTO, March 11, 2021 /CNW/ – NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (the “REIT”) (TSX: NWH.UN), Canada’s leading global diversified healthcare real estate investment trust, today announced its results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020.

Commenting on the activity, Paul Dalla Lana, CEO of the REIT, said:

“2020 was an unprecedented year with a global pandemic that impacted societies and economies everywhere, the legacy of which will be felt for many years to come. It was, at its core, a year focused on healthcare, our industry. 

I am pleased with how NorthWest’s defensive business model performed in this environment, and proud of the way our team took on all challenges to support our many critical facilities and frontline partners delivering life-saving services. 

For the year, the REIT delivered solid operating results with AFFO per unit and NAV per unit growth of 4.8% and 3.2%, respectively, on a constant currency basis, on an $8.0 billion 188 property global portfolio. The REIT was also successful on advancing all of its 2020 strategic objectives, including completion of a new $3 billion European JV, geographic expansion into the UK and simplification of its Australasian platform.

Moreover, as the world looks to emerge from this pandemic, with societies everywhere focused on reinforcing their health systems to cope with pent-up demand as well as planning for additional capacity to meet challenges in the future, the REIT is exceptionally well positioned to continue to broaden and grow it business as the partner of choice for institutional investors and health systems around the world.” 

Impact of COVID-19:

The REIT’s portfolio of healthcare infrastructure assets continues to perform well through the COVID-19 pandemic with all properties open and operational. For the three months ended December 31, 2020 the REIT collected 98.2% of rent (including those subject to formal deferral arrangements), which is a 67 basis points improvement from the 97.6% collected in Q3 2020. The strong rent collection throughout the pandemic is illustrative of the defensive attributes of the REIT’s portfolio, the essential nature of its tenant base and commitment from governments to ensure access to critical healthcare services. The REIT believes that a growing back log of non-essential treatments and surgeries in each of its global markets is expected to increase demand levels for acute healthcare services and support private hospital system volumes going forward.

2020 Full Year Financial and Operational Highlights:

In addition to a very busy transactional year, the REIT continued to deliver improved financial and operational performance with an increasingly conservative balance sheet across an expanded 188 property, 15.5 million square foot defensive healthcare real estate portfolio underpinned by long-term inflation indexed leases. Key highlights are as follows:

  • Total unitholder return of 13.4%, outperformed the S&P/TSX capped REIT index and the TSX by approximately 2,650 bps and 780 bps, respectively;
  • IFRS revenue increased 2.1% in 2020 to $374 million primarily driven by acquisition activity;
  • Proportionate management fee income increased by 7.5% to $40.4 million;
  • AFFO per unit increased by 1.0% to $0.85 in 2020 ($0.92 per unit on a normalized basis) as a result of accretive strategic acquisitions, and increased proportionate management fees partially offset by lower parking income in Canada owing to stay at home orders due to COVID-19;
  • After adjusting for the foreign exchange impact, constant currency AFFO/Unit increased by 4.8% to $0.88;
  • AFFO payout ratio of 94% (87% normalized) based on the REIT’s $0.80 per unit annual distribution;
  • 2020 source currency and Canadian dollar cash recurring SPNOI growth of 3.4% and -2.1%, respectively, driven primarily by annual rent indexation and occupancy gains in the REIT’s international portfolio;
  • Strong portfolio occupancy of 97.1% with the international portfolio holding stable above 98% occupancy;
  • Weighted average lease expiry was flat at 14.5 years, underpinned by the international portfolio weighted average lease expiry of 17.3 years;
  • Total assets under management “AUM” increased by 20% from $6.5 billion to $7.8 billion;
  • Net asset value per unit increased by 1.0% to $13.27 driven by portfolio valuation gains but partially offset by foreign currency losses;
  • After adjusting for the foreign exchange impact, constant currency net asset value per unit increased by 3.2% to $13.59;
  • Consolidated leverage (including convertible debentures) declined by 160 bps to 48.0%.

Selected Financial Information:

($000’s, except unit and per unit amounts)

Three months ended
December 31, 2020

Three months ended
September 30, 2020

Number of properties



Gross leasable area (sf)






Weighted Average Lease Expiry (Years)



Net Operating Income



Net Income (Loss) attributable to unitholders



Funds from Operations (“FFO”)



Adjusted Funds from Operations (“AFFO”)



Debt to Gross Book Value – Declaration of Trust



Debt to Gross Book Value – Including Convertible Debentures



Executing on 2020 strategic priorities: During 2020, the REIT successfully executed on its main strategic priorities including:

  • Scaling its European Platform: In 2020, the REIT expanded its European footprint to the UK with the acquisition of 10 high quality hospitals for a combined purchase price of $620 million (£358 million) at an approximately 6.5% weighted average initial capitalization rate. The UK hospitals were acquired in two transactions completed in Q1, 2020 and Q3, 2020. The properties are 100% occupied on an absolute net lease basis, on long-term leases subject to annual rent indexation. Including normal course acquisitions and revaluation gains, European AUM increased by 115% YOY to $1.7 billion;
  • Expanded asset management platform: In Q3, 2020 the REIT completed a new $3 billion (€2.0 billion) European joint venture with GIC (the “European JV”), creating the REIT’s first managed fund outside of Australasia. In 2020, total deployed fee bearing capital increased by 46% from $3.3 billion to $4.8 billion and total committed fee bearing capital increased by 76% to $8.8 billion. Key joint venture transactions included:
    • The acquisition of a $278 million (€178 million) portfolio of German rehabilitation hospitals (the “German Seed Portfolio) by the European JV in Q3, 2020. Followed in Q4, by the acquisition of a $196 million (€127 million) portfolio of Dutch clinics (the “Dutch Seed Portfolio”). Both portfolios were vended into the European JV by the REIT.
    • On June 30, 2020, the REIT finalized the sale of a 70% interest in its wholly-owned Australia REIT portfolio to its Australian joint venture with GIC (the “Australia JV”). The transaction generated net proceeds of approximately $64 million (A$70.5 million).
    • On March 16, 2020, the REIT completed the sale of three aged-care assets to Vital Trust for $50 million. Net proceeds from the transaction were deployed towards debt repayment.
    • In Q1, 2021 the European JV acquired four Dutch Clinics, from the REIT, for $44.8 million (€29.1 million).

Normal course investment activity: During 2020 and subsequent to year end the REIT completed $998 million of accretive acquisitions as set out below:

  • Europe: The REIT acquired 2 German rehabilitation clinics, 4 Dutch clinics, 1 Dutch MOB, 1 Dutch Life Science building and the above mentioned 10 UK hospitals for an aggregate purchase price of $732 million at a weighted average capitalization rate of 6.4%. The properties are 100.0% occupied and have a weighted average lease term of 18.5 years;
  • Australia: As part of its Australian JV the REIT acquired its first life science building being the $93 million (A$105 million) Alfred Centre and Burnett Tower in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to intra-group acquisitions by Vital noted above, Vital Trust acquired Grace Hospital for $87 million (NZ$95 million) and development land in Melbourne for $28 million (A$29 million) and disposed of three Hospitals for $93 million (A$94 million).
  • Developments: The REIT progressed its earnings and NAV accretive development projects with $414 million of projects under construction and a further $27 million of approved projects with expected completion dates between Q1-2021 and Q4-2023 expecting to generate incremental stabilized NOI of $26 million and $52 million of value creation on a fully consolidated basis;
    • Development completions include: two Vital expansions comprising $33.7 million, one Brazil expansion for $6.0 million, and the completion of Sturgeon Medical in Canada for $19.8 million.

On-Going Strategic Initiatives:

As previously announced, the REIT together with a capital partner, has entered into option agreements to acquire a strategic interest of approximately 16% of the units in Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust (“AUHPT”), a $2.4 billion (A$2.5 billion) unlisted healthcare property trust comprising 62 high quality hospital, medical centres and other healthcare assets leased to leading Australian healthcare operators with a WALE of 16 years and 98% occupancy. The agreements are subject to customary Australian foreign investment approvals.

In Europe, the REIT continues to explore the formation of a UK joint venture. Discussions continue to progress with an expectation for the fund to be complete in 2021.

Balance Sheet Initiatives:

Driven primarily by dispositions of wholly owned assets into managed capital platforms, the REIT’s consolidated leverage decreased by 160 bp YOY to 48.0% (57.0% on a proportionate basis) at the end of 2020. Post quarter end, the REIT issued 17.0 million units at $12.65 per unit, raising gross equity of $215 million (including the partial exercise of the overallotment option; the “February Equity Offering”). Proceeds from the February Equity Offering were used to repay corporate debt further reducing the REIT’s consolidated and proportionate leverage to 44.3% and 52.4%, respectively. Consolidated and proportionate leverage are expected to be further reduced to 38.3% and 46.9%, respectively over 2021 as the REIT executes on deleveraging activities including:

  • At the REIT’s current unit price of $12.83, holders of NWH.DB.E 5.25% debentures maturing July 31, 2021 and NWH.DB.F 5.25% debentures maturing December 31, 2021 with conversion prices of $12.75 and $12.80 per Unit, respectively, have an economically advantageous opportunity to convert their debentures to REIT units. Assuming full conversion to equity, the REIT’s pro-forma consolidated and proportionate leverage would decline by approximately 270 bp and 330 bp, respectively;
  • The previously announced private placement to NorthWest Value Partners of between $5 million and $25 million is expected to close in April, 2021. Upon completion and full deployment of net proceeds consolidated and proportionate leverage is expected to decline by up to 50 bp; and
  • The formation of a UK JV and sale of the REIT’s existing UK assets into the JV which is expected to be complete in 2021, is expected to reduce consolidated and proportionate leverage by 320 bp and 210 bp, respectively.

Conference Call Details:

The REIT invites you to participate in its conference call with senior management to discuss our fourth quarter 2020 results on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM (Eastern).

The conference call can be accessed by dialing 416-764-8609 or 1 (888) 390-0605. The conference ID is #24599469.

Audio replay will be available from March 12, 2021 through March 19, 2021 by dialing 416-764-8677 or 1(888) 390-0541. The reservation number is #599469.

In conjunction with the release of the REIT’s fourth quarter 2020 financial results, the REIT will post a current investor update presentation to its website where additional information on the REIT’s investments and operating performance may be found. Please visit the REIT’s website at

Vital Healthcare Property Trust

On February 25, 2021, Vital Trust also announced its financial results for the six months ended December 31, 2020. Details on Vital Trust’s financial results are available on Vital Trust’s website at

About NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust
NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: NWH.UN) (NorthWest) is an unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust established under the laws of the Province of Ontario. As at December 31 2020, the REIT provides investors with access to a portfolio of high quality international healthcare real estate infrastructure comprised of interests in a diversified portfolio of 188 income-producing properties and 15.5 million square feet of gross leasable area located throughout major markets in Canada, Brazil, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The REIT’s portfolio of medical office buildings, clinics, and hospitals is characterized by long term indexed leases and stable occupancies. With a fully integrated and aligned senior management team, the REIT leverages over 230 professionals in nine offices in five countries to serve as a long term real estate partner to leading healthcare operators.

Non-IFRS Measures

Some financial measures used in this press release, such as Operating Income, adjusted same-property NOI, FFO, AFFO, Normalized AFFO, Net Asset Value per Unit, AUM, portfolio occupancy and weighted average lease expiry, are used by the real estate industry to measure and compare the operating performance of real estate companies, but they do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. As such, they are unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other real estate companies. These non- IFRS measures are more fully defined and discussed in the REIT’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the year ending December 31, 2020, which is available on the SEDAR website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to the REIT, its operations, strategy, financial performance and condition. These statements generally can be identified by use of forward-looking words such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “intends”, “believe”, “normalized”, “contracted”, “stabilized” or “continue” or the negative thereof or similar variations. The REIT’s actual results and performance discussed herein could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Such statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations, including that the transactions contemplated herein are completed. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, among other things, general economic and market factors, competition, changes in government regulations and the factors described under “Risks and Uncertainties” in the REIT’s Annual Information Form and the risks and uncertainties set out in the MD&A which are available on These cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to the REIT and persons acting on its behalf. Unless otherwise stated, all forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and, except as expressly required by applicable law, the REIT assumes no obligation to update such statements.

SOURCE NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust

For further information: please contact Paul Dalla Lana, CEO at (416) 366-8300 x 1001.

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British Columbia tackles innovation investment gap – The Globe and Mail



Lt.- Gov. Janet Austin delivers the Throne Speech at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., April 12, 2021.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

The B.C. government will create its own investment fund to help promising B.C. companies scale up and keep jobs here at home, as part of its post-pandemic recovery plan.

The InBC strategic investment fund, announced in Monday’s Throne Speech, will be administered by a new Crown corporation. The initiative is designed to respond to concerns that the province’s world-leading innovations in sectors such as life sciences are consistently flowing to other jurisdictions with better investment climates.

The Throne Speech, read by Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin, offers a self-congratulatory account of the government’s response to the health and economic challenges brought by COVID-19 over the past year, and acknowledges that the province is still in the grips of the pandemic. But it also focuses on plans to rebuild the economy.

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“We open this sitting of the legislature at a turning point in our fight to end the pandemic,” she read. “The threat of new variants means we cannot relax, even as your government accelerates the largest mass-immunization program in B.C.’s history.”

Ms. Austin cited the province’s contributions to the global effort to fight COVID-19, noting that its life-sciences companies have helped develop a vaccine and a treatment for the virus, as well as the development of an ICU ventilator for use in Canadian hospitals.

“Their work will not only help bring us out of the pandemic, it will position our province for success in the years ahead,” she said.

The speech predicts the province will find continued growth in trade. “Global markets are changing in ways that offer significant opportunities for B.C.’s goods and services. Prices are expected to continue to reflect environmental, social and governance aspects of production,” it states. “British Columbia firms will be able to take advantage of a premium paid for inclusive and sustainable products.”

But leaders in health sciences and the high-tech sectors have noted that B.C., while it excels in research and development, fails to foster a business environment where those innovations can stay and grow.

Quebec and Ontario have helped secure life sciences investments by partnering with Ottawa to offer incentives. Most recently, the global pharmaceutical giant Sanofi unveiled its plans to build an influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto, after the federal government and the province of Ontario committed to invest close to half a billion dollars in the project.

The B.C. government provided no detail on the new investment fund on Monday, and it is unclear how the new agency will assist. “This new strategic fund will help promising B.C. companies scale up, anchor talent – keeping jobs and investment at home in British Columbia,” it reads.

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It also promises additional funding to address the challenges that COVID-19 has exposed for the homeless, for health care and for seniors in long-term care. “In the year ahead, your government will continue to improve care for seniors by hiring thousands of new workers for long-term care and fixing the cracks COVID-19 has exposed.”

The Throne Speech also promises initiatives to assist British Columbians who struggle with the cost of living. The budget, which will be introduced on April 20, will include funds to help get thousands of rental homes built throughout the province, and will expand access to the province’s $10-a-day daycare spaces.

The government is also promising changes to its vehicle insurance rates through the Insurance Corporation of B.C. ICBC will deliver a 20-per-cent cut to car insurance rates, in addition to the COVID-19 rebate that was issued earlier this year.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

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eBay Is Helping Gen-Y and Gen-Z Get Their Investment Kicks – Forbes



At a time when Sotheby’s is auctioning off rare sneakers, you know the nature of investing has changed. Those changes are coming as Generations Y and Z are looking to invest in what they love, while changing the nature of what investment-grade goods look like.

eBay, for one has been leading the charge and looks to remain the go-to agent for its monetization. And, to combat counterfeiting while supporting the segment’s growth, the online marketplace is innovating. eBay has begun a series of pop-up authentication events, intended to give their collectors and sellers a new source to both authenticate and value their rare kicks, as well as high-end watches, and collector cards.

Sneakers and watches are two of eBays most popular luxury categories. There are more than a half-million sneaker listings on eBay, and over 165,00 luxury watches listed on any given day. And over the past year the marketplace saw a 10 percent increase for high-end time pieces like Rolex, whose sales have jumped 60 percent since 2019.

Authentication Station

The on-site authentication events are an extension of the recently expanded “Authentication Guarantee” services that eBay offers, utilizing an independent team of industry experts. It’s the same group that authenticated a $1 million pair of 1985 Air Jordon 1’s, signed by non-other than the “Air-apparent” himself.  

The program first launched in LA’s Koreatown, back in November 2020 in a vintage, fifties-looking converted gas station. Participants handed the goods off to an attendant, who brought the items in to the inspection teams. The process was in full view via large outside screens, and successful assessments earned an eBay Authentication Guarantee. Participants were able to receive “on the spot” offers or elected to list the items themselves.

The East-Hollywood, LA experiment was successful enough to replicate. And pop-up authentication events took place this past Friday and Saturday in Atlanta. They are expected to again be replicated in Las Vegas, Seattle, Nashville, and Austin in coming weeks. Admissions to the events are free, without an appointment.

Playing A New Card

In a parallel effort, by late April eBay will add an imaging listing tool to its mobile app, designed to facilitate more efficient listings of trading cards. This is another category that has evolved from mere collecting to high-buck investing.

Beginning in late April 2021, eBay plans to launch an image listing tool in its mobile app to initially support Magic the Gathering cards and ultimately Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! as well.  Users will point their camera at the card and hold to scan. A list of possible matches will pop-up, along with details on game name, title, card set, number and rarity. After tapping the closest match, the user can add their details and pricing to post. eBay plans to add other collectable and trading cards to the offering later in 2021.

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Joe Biden tax plan affect US investment in Ireland?




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Wander around Dublin’s Grand Canal Quay and you get a sense of how successful the Republic of Ireland has been in attracting US technology companies.

Google has its international headquarters across a campus of offices and will soon have more space nearby at the Boland’s Mill development.

Just across the canal, Facebook has its international HQ with Tripadvisor and AirBnB close by.

Stripe, the United States-based payments firm, could soon be in the area.

Last month its Irish founders said they’re planning about 1,000 new jobs in Ireland.

The head of the country’s inward investment agency, Martin Shanahan, described the Stripe investment as a “phenomenal signal from Ireland and about Ireland”.

But there’s now a risk that the pipeline of investment from the US could dry up if President Joe Biden can lead a major change to global tax rules.

Irish tax advantage under threat

In among those tech company HQs in Dublin’s docklands, you will also find the offices of the lawyers and accountants who help US firms use Ireland’s tax system to reduce their global tax bills.

For the last 20 years Ireland has had a simple message: invest here and you will pay just 12.5% tax on your Irish profits.

That compares favourably to headline corporation tax rates of 19% in the UK, 30% in Germany and 26.5% in Canada.

It is an article of faith in Irish politics that the 12.5% rate has been vital to attracting US investment.

But that tax advantage could be seriously undermined if President Biden gets his way.


Google head office Dublin


The most striking of his proposals – and the one of most consequence for Ireland – is for a global minimum corporate tax rate.

The US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has suggested a 21% minimum rate.

“We are working with G20 nations to agree to a global minimum corporate tax rate that can stop the race to the bottom,” she said in a speech last week.

“Together we can use a global minimum tax to make sure the global economy thrives based on a more level playing field in the taxation of multinational corporations.”

What would it mean for Ireland’s economy?

Essentially that would mean if a company paid tax at the lower Irish rate, then the US (or other countries) could top up that company’s tax in their jurisdiction to get it to the global minimum.

So if a US company had a presence in Ireland primarily for the tax advantage, that advantage would disappear.

This is a matter of urgency for the Biden administration because it is planning to raise corporate taxes at home and would prefer not to see more tax revenues leaking to other countries.

Peter Vale, tax partner with accounting firm Grant Thornton in Dublin, thinks a global minimum rate is now an inevitability.

“If you’d asked me six months ago I’d have been quite sceptical, there was a lot of opposition,” he said.

“But it’s now moving by the day and, with the US behind it with its plans, I think we’re going to arrive at some sort of global consensus.”

He said the key issue for Ireland becomes the level at which the rate is set.

“I don’t think 21% is where it will land, I suspect it will be somewhere in the teens.”



Niall Carson/PA

Other details will be important too: “Exactly how will you work out what the rate is a company is paying in Ireland and what does that mean in terms of any top up? The detail becomes pretty critical.”

The Biden proposals have reinvigorated work which is being led by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), an intergovernmental economic organisation.

It began a project known as Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in 2013, which aims to mitigate tax loopholes which currently allow companies to shift profits from higher tax countries to lower tax countries like Ireland.

‘Intention to target Ireland’

Perhaps ironically Ireland appears to have been a major beneficiary of some of the early outcomes of the BEPS project.

The country’s corporation tax receipts have soared from about €4bn (£3.5bn) in 2013 to around €12bn (£10.5bn) in 2020.

That is the principle that companies should declare their profits in the location where they have real operations or activities.

“Countries like Ireland have been a huge winner from BEPS mark one,” he said.

“The objective was to align profit with substance and we actually are one of the countries where these companies have substance, whether it be pharmaceuticals, computer chips, medical devices and the ICT companies.

“I think when countries in the G7 looked at this they thought ‘that’s not quite what we wanted’ – maybe the intention was to target countries like Ireland, not benefit them.”

When could we see an impact?

In the next round of BEPS, with the US on board, those other rich countries are more likely to get what they want at Ireland’s expense.

But even if President Biden can agree the reforms at home and abroad, how quickly would that have an impact in Ireland?

Mr Coffey thinks any negative effects would not be instant because tax is not everything.

“Are the ICT companies likely to head off around the world, scattering their headquarters to various different cities?” he said.

“There are benefits to being co-located. At least in the medium term we are not likely to see a huge shock.”

That is echoed by the IDA (Industrial Development Authority), the inward investment agency, which points to Ireland’s workforce and significant clusters of specialisation in areas like medical technology and pharmaceuticals.

The IDA also sees the Brexit angle, pointing out that Ireland, unlike its UK neighbour, is part of the EU’s single market.

In a statement, it said: “Ireland is at the heart of Europe. Ireland’s continued commitment to the EU is a core part of Ireland’s value proposition to foreign investors, offering a base to access the European Single Market and to grow their business.

“Ireland also benefits from free movement of people within the EU, giving businesses located in Ireland access to a European labour market.”

The Irish government has been engaged in the BEPS process, though in a speech last year the Finance Minister, Pascal Donohoe, said he remained to be convinced of the need for minimum taxation, beyond the specific challenges relating to the digital economy.

This week a government spokesman said: “Ireland is aware of the US proposals.

“We are constructively engaging in these discussions, and will consider any proposals carefully noting that political level discussions on these issues have not yet taken place with the 139 countries involved in this process.”

Source: – BBC News

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