Adventus Realty Trust (the Trust) is pleased to provide the following update as we close out 2013 and begin planning for a busy 2014. We achieved several major milestones during the year and are in a great position for 2014 to be our busiest and best since inception.
We began the year owning one property and during 2013 we closed on three additional properties adding approximately 750,000 square feet of office space. We have now exceeded 1.2 million square feet collectively in our portfolio. Not only has this diversification reduced risk for our unit holders, we have gained a strong footing in suburban Chicago and a reputation as being a key player in the marketplace with the ability to close on transactions. This ongoing market acceptance is providing us with a very good flow of potential acquisitions and we continue to evaluate opportunities that meet our acquisition criteria and that we believe are accretive to Adventus unit-holders.
Our current portfolio includes the Elgin Chase Campus, Oakbrook Office Center, The Crossings Office Complex and Deerfield Office complex. Our website has undergone some significant changes recently and we invite unit holders to visit our portfolio page for a description of our properties, and our media section for pictures of our portfolio properties.
In addition to adding new properties, we also added to our executive and management team. Ron Anderson and Brian Kenning both joined our Board of Directors during the year and will provide valuable insight as we continue to grow. Michael Iannacone, CFO and Paul McIntyre, Director of Finance also came on board in 2013, which will further strengthen the day to day oversight of our growing portfolio. Please visit the management page on our website where you will find a bio of all the members of the Adventus team, and the significant business and real estate experience that will be very important to our continued success going forward.
Another key milestone in 2013 was our ability to refinance the Elgin Chase Campus (our first property) on more favourable terms as debt markets opened up. The new loan provides for a longer fixed rate term with a considerable interest savings of almost 1.70% per annum relative to the previous financing.
We successfully raised $27.9M CAD in 2013 bringing our total equity raised since inception to $36.4M CAD. Our third seed equity round commenced on June 1, 2013 and was priced at $14 per unit (large investors-$13). We are continuing to seek investor support at the $14 level. We anticipate continuing our quarterly distributions at an annualized rate of 8.0% of $14.00 (ie. 2% per quarter) during 2014.
Just prior to year end we were announced as the successful bidder of a fifth office property in suburban Chicago for an acquisition cost of $28,400,000. We have now waived our due diligence conditions and expect to close on the Property on or before March 10, 2014. We believe the Property is one of our highest quality to date. The building itself was built in 1997 making it one of the newer office buildings in Suburban Chicago. It has a good mix of financially strong tenants, a very good lease profile with no maturities for a significant number of years, and outstanding amenities for the buildings tenants.
Adventus Realty Trust is still young and early in our growth curve. Our acquisition strategy of targeting well occupied office properties at attractive cap rates and utilizing conservative levels of low cost fixed rate debt allows us to also pay a good yield to our investors who want or need income in addition to growth. Since acquiring our various properties throughout 2013, we are finding that they are performing as expected and are creating sufficient free cash flow to more than cover our distributions.
We started 2013 hopeful that the year would be our best to date, and we were able to surpass our goals for the year. We are starting 2014 on very strong footing from the foundation we have built since starting Adventus Realty Trust in early 2012. Our unit holders helped us achieve our accomplishments, we are thankful, and management will continue to roll up their sleeves to make 2014 our best year yet.
ADVENTUS REALTY TRUST
By its Trustee: ADVENTUS REALTY SERVICES INC.
Per: Rodney B. Johnston, CPA, FCA
President and Chief Executive Officer