ST-JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2006) - Fortis Properties Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS), has entered into an agreement to purchase 4 internationally branded hotels in Alberta and British Columbia from Lodge Motel (Kelowna) Ltd. for an aggregate purchase price of $51.6 million, including assumed debt. The transaction is scheduled to close on October 31, 2006.
The 4 hotels are Holiday Inn Express and Suites, and Best Western, in Medicine Hat, Alberta; Ramada Hotel and Suites in Lethbridge, Alberta; and Holiday Inn Express in Kelowna, British Columbia.
The acquisition expands the hospitality operations of Fortis Properties by 454 rooms. The mid-market hotels offer quality rooms with such amenities as fitness facilities, swimming pools, and adjacent or nearby food and beverage outlets.
"This acquisition strengthens Fortis Properties' presence in western Canada, an area of strong economic activity," says Earl Ludlow, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fortis Properties. "As leaders in their respective markets, these hotels complement our 14 other hotels operating across Canada," adds Ludlow.
"This acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings of Fortis," says Stan Marshall, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fortis Inc. "It enables Fortis Properties to continue to grow its earnings while building on its reputation for superior customer service combined with high-quality, well-situated hotels," adds Marshall.
"We welcome the approximately 140 employees of these hotels to our team and look forward to their continued service and contribution to customer service excellence," concludes Ludlow.
With the addition of these 4 hotels, Fortis Properties owns and operates 18 hotels, representing over 3,200 rooms, in 7 Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to these holdings, the Company owns and operates over 2.7 million square feet of office and retail space in Atlantic Canada and 12 hydroelectric generating plants in Newfoundland and Ontario, Canada and upstate New York, USA. Fortis Properties employs more than 1,400 people. Visit www.fortisproperties.com for additional information about Fortis Properties.
Fortis Inc. is a diversified, international electric utility holding company with assets approaching $4.5 billion and annual revenues of more than $1.4 billion. The Common Shares, First Preference Shares, Series C; First Preference Shares, Series E; and First Preference Shares, Series F of Fortis Inc. are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols FTS, FTS.PR.C, FTS.PR.E and FTS.PR.F, respectively. Visit www.fortisinc.com for additional information about Fortis Inc.
Please see the attached backgrounder for additional information on the 4 new hotels.
Fortis Inc. (or the "Corporation") includes forward-looking statements in this release. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on underlying assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally. Such events include, but are not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions, regulatory developments, weather and competition. Fortis Inc. cautions readers that should certain events or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those unexpected. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, reference should be made to the Corporation's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities. Fortis Inc. disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Holiday Inn Express and Suites Medicine Hat
- Located on Strachan Bay SE in Medicine Hat, Alberta
- 93 rooms
- Attached atrium-style recreation area containing a pool, waterslide and fitness facility
- Opened in 2005
- Situated off the Trans-Canada Highway at the eastern entrance to the city, surrounded by major retailers
A picture of Holiday Inn Express and Suites Medicine Hat is available at the following address: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/Holiday%20Inn%20Express%20Medicine%20Hat1.JPG
Best Western Medicine Hat
- Located on Redcliff Drive SW in Medicine Hat, Alberta
- 122 rooms, including 25 suites
- Two pools
- Built in three phases between 1960s and 1990s
- Close to the city's downtown core
A picture of Best Western Medicine Hat is available at the following address: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/Best%20Western%20Medicine%20Hat2.JPG
Ramada Hotel and Suites Lethbridge
- Located on Highway 4 and Mayor Magrath Drive in Lethbridge, Alberta
- 119 rooms
- 4,300 square feet of banquet space, restaurant and lounge area and 12,000 square foot waterpark
- Opened in 1999
- Centrally located, surrounded by major retailers
A picture of Ramada Hotel and Suites Lethbridge is available at the following address: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/Ramada%20Hotel%20and%20Suites%20Lethbridge2.jpg
Holiday Inn Express Kelowna
- Located on Highway 97 in Kelowna, British Columbia
- 120 rooms
- Adjacent restaurant
- Opened in 1993
- Close to downtown and the city's international airport
A picture of Holiday Inn Express Kelowna is available at the following address: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/Holiday%20Inn%20Express%20Kelowna2.JPG
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Barry V. Perry
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Fortis Properties Corporation
Neal J. Jackman
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer