TORONTO, April 20, 2020 /CNW/ - NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (the "REIT") (TSX: NWH.UN), Canada's leading global diversified healthcare real estate investment trust, today provided an update on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The REIT remains focused on the health and safety of its tenants and employees and the global effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. NorthWest is well positioned with a strong balance sheet and a defensive portfolio that is 97.3% occupied by a diverse 1,900 tenant roster substantially underpinned by public healthcare care funding. Within our hospital portfolio, governments in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and UK, have each announced programs to immediately expand capacity of their respective public hospital systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by entering into direct arrangements with private hospital operators. Within the REIT's medical office portfolio, the majority of which is located within Canada and Germany, the tenants are comprised primarily of doctors and related medical professionals that are integral to delivery of healthcare which is ultimately funded by governments through those public healthcare systems. While some near-term disruption may result from the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 85% of our revenues now provided directly or indirectly by public healthcare funding, the defensiveness of the REIT's income profile remains intact. Moreover, as providers of an essential and inelastic service backed by government funding, healthcare is expected to be amongst the first sectors to return to full capacity following the return to more normal operating conditions.
Tenants representing approximately 93% of contracted net rent have met or are expected to meet their rental obligations during the month or April 2020. Temporary rent deferral discussions are in progress, on a case-by-case basis and subject to government programs, with tenants whose current circumstances are impacting their ability to meet rental obligations. Most tenants will be extraordinarily busy when healthcare systems resume full service after the COVID-19 epidemic abates, as they deal with accumulated backlogs of unmet need. The REIT has strong working relationships with tenants and is confident that most deferred rents will be recoverable over time in the vast majority of instances.
The REIT continues to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business and is actively working to increase liquidity and fortify its balance sheet by executing upon its previously announced strategic initiatives which will increase the REIT's current $135 million of liquidity to approximately $380 million by the end of Q2-2020, including:
- The approximately $550 million sale of Australian and European assets to an institutional partner which remains on track to close in Q2 2020, subject to typical conditions including regulatory approvals and generate net proceeds of approximately $180 million;
- The approximately $65 million financing of its portfolio of 6 UK hospitals that is expected to close in late April 2020.
For further information please refer the REIT's investor presentation available on its website.
First Quarter 2020 Results and Conference Call
The REIT will issue its first quarter 2020 financial results for the three months ending March 31, 2020 on Thursday, May 14, 2020, after markets close.
A conference call will be held on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 10:00 am (EST). Participating on the call will be members of the REIT's senior management team.
Investors are invited to access the call by dialing (416) 764-8609 or toll-free 1 (888) 390-0605, conference ID# 59244209. A recording of this call will be made available Thursday, May 15, 2020 beginning at 12:00 pm (ET) through to Thursday, May 22, 2020. To access the recording, please call +1 (416) 764 8677 or 1 (888) 390 0541 and use the reservation number 244209#.
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 2019, 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 175 income-producing properties and 14.5 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 200 professionals in nine offices in five countries to serve as a long term real estate partner to leading healthcare operators.
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, 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 three months ended December 31, 2019, which is available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com.
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 www.sedar.com. 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