AX.PR.I Settles Firm on Decent Volume

Artis Real Estate Investment Trust has announced:

that it closed its previously announced public offering, through a syndicate of underwriters led by TD Securities Inc., RBC Capital Markets and Scotiabank (collectively the “Underwriters”), on a bought deal basis, of 5,000,000 cumulative minimum rate reset preferred trust units, Series I (“Series I Units”) at a price of $25.00 per Series I Unit for gross proceeds of $125,000,000 (the “Financing”).

DBRS Limited has assigned a rating of Pfd-3 (low) to the Series I Units.

Artis intends to use the net proceeds from the Financing to redeem its existing U.S. dollar denominated cumulative redeemable preferred trust units, Series C and for general trust purposes.

AX.PR.I is a FixedReset, 6.00%+393M600, ROC issue announced 2018-01-22. It will be tracked by HIMIPref™ but will be relegated to the Scraps subindex on the basis of its Pfd-3(low) rating from DBRS.

The issue traded 419,647 shares today in a range of 24.90-99 before closing at 24.95-97. Vital statistics are:

AX.PR.I FixedReset YTW SCENARIO
Maturity Type : Limit Maturity
Maturity Date : 2048-01-31
Maturity Price : 23.13
Evaluated at bid price : 24.95
Bid-YTW : 5.98 %

Investors should note that according to the prospectus (see SEDAR and search for Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Jan 24 2018 15:21:01 ET Prospectus (non pricing) supplement – English PDF 606 K; I am not permitted to link to this public document on its public website directly, because the Canadian Securities Administrators don’t want you to bother your pretty little heads with things like “prospectuses” and the like. Just do what the nice man at the bank tells you is best. If he wasn’t wise and benevolent, he wouldn’t be working for a bank, would he now?) [emphasis added]:

The holders of Series I Units will have the right, at their option, to reclassify their Series I Units as Preferred Units, Series J (“Series J Units”) of Artis, subject to certain conditions, on April 30, 2023 and on April 30 every five years thereafter.

The CRA (as hereinafter defined) has expressed the preliminary view that the reclassification of the Series I Units and Series J Units would likely result in a taxable disposition at that time.

The tax consequences of reclassification are not necessarily a good or bad thing, although note that the fact that such reclassification is an option suggests the issue will be trading below par. It will depend on your Adjusted Cost Base and personal tax circumstances.

Thanks again to Assiduous Reader JB who originally brought this issue to my attention.

The new issue looks quite expensive to me, according to Implied Volatility Analysis:

impvol_ax_180131
Click for Big

This perceived richness has a different source than the other issues discussed here recently, such as the BEP.PR.M issue, the CM.PR.S issue and the NA.PR.E, since the calculated level of Implied Volatility, 9%, is actually quite reasonable.

In this case, the richness is due to the extraordinarily high value that retail – fighting the last war, as always – has placed on the minimum reset guarantee. If, like me, you consider the guarantee to have little or no value, you will expect the new issue to be trading near the price of AX.PR.A, which has an Issue Reset Spread of 406bp (and a current coupon of 5.662%). However, this issue closed today at 23.50 bid, indicating that retail considers the minimum rate guarantee to be worth somewhere around $1.50. Wow! That’s many multiples of the value of the call option in this analysis!

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