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PORT WASHINGTON, NY-Cedar Shopping Centers and Toronto-based RioCan have struck an alliance whereby RioCan will acquire up to 15% ownership of locally based Cedar’s common stock. The two REITs are also establishing joint ventures both on ownership of seven of Cedar’s existing portfolio of supermarket-anchored retail properties and on acquiring new assets. In both JVs, Rio will take an 80% stake and Cedar a 20% stake, according to releases from both companies.

RioCan will pay Cedar $141 million for the seven existing retail properties, which total 1.1 million square feet, and will assume $75 million of property-level debt. Two of the assets–the 123,354-square-foot Blue Mountain Commons in Harrisburg, PA and the 74,142-square-foot Sunset Crossing Shopping Center in Scranton, PA–are unencumbered by debt, and the JV plans to seek term financing on both.

Other properties in the existing-portfolio JV include: the 306,213-square-foot Franklin Village Plaza in Franklin, MA; the 293,825-square-foot Loyal Plaza in Williamsport, PA; the 176,610-square-foot Shaw’s Plaza in Raynham, MA; the 142,167-square-foot Columbus Crossing Shopping Center in Philadelphia; and a freestanding 54,511-square-foot Stop & Shop supermarket in Bridgeport, CT.

The JV for new acquisitions, which could reach $500 million over the next two years, will focus primarily on grocery-anchored properties in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Each company holds right of first refusal on properties the other may buy as part of the JV. In both JVs, Cedar will provide property management, leasing, construction management and financial management services, and will also be entitled to certain fees on acquisitions, dispositions, financings and refinancings, according to a release.

“We expect the great financial strength of RioCan and its commitment to our company to be beneficial for both companies in the coming years,” Cedar CEO Leo Ullman says in a release. He adds that he sees “great symmetry in our conservative approaches to our respective property portfolios at every level of our respective operations.”

At RioCan, Canada’s largest REIT, president and CEO Edward Sonshine says in a release, “We believe that the US market will yield a greater number of attractive opportunities than what we expect will be available in Canada in the near term. This venture creates a vehicle that will allow RioCan to tap into the US market and ensures that the properties within the joint venture will be well managed.” Last year, RioCan and New Hyde Park, NY-based Kimco Realty Corp. teamed up on a $156-million buy of 10 Canadian retail properties in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

In other news, Cedar says it has received commitments aggregating more than $220 million from participating lenders on renewing its secured revolving credit facility for stabilized properties. The company expects to close the renewal at a level of more than $250 million during the fourth quarter. Third-quarter financial results will be announced on Thursday.

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