Home Blog Page 329

We Begin at the End

0

We Begin at the End WeeklyReviewer

An Instant New York Times Bestseller

“A vibrant, engrossing, unputdownable thriller that packs a serious emotional punch. One of those rare books that surprise you along the way and then linger in your mind long after you have finished it.”
—Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Four Winds


Right. Wrong. Life is lived somewhere in between.

Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Rules are for other people. She is the fierce protector of her five-year-old brother, Robin, and the parent to her mother, Star, a single mom incapable of taking care of herself, let alone her two kids.

Walk has never left the coastal California town where he and Star grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he’s still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. And he's in overdrive protecting Duchess and her brother.

Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released. And Duchess and Walk must face the trouble that comes with his return. We Begin at the End is an extraordinary novel about two kinds of families—the ones we are born into and the ones we create.


From the Publisher

We Begin at the End Chris WhitakerWe Begin at the End Chris Whitaker

We Begin at the End Chris WhitakerWe Begin at the End Chris Whitaker

We Begin at the End Chris WhitakerWe Begin at the End Chris Whitaker

We Begin at the End Chris WhitakerWe Begin at the End Chris Whitaker

Greenberg Traurig's Joseph F. Coniglio to Present at the 27th Annual Course on Advanced Medical Torts

DALLAS, March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Joseph F. Coniglio, managing shareholder of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP‘s Dallas office, will speak at the virtual 27th Annual Course on Advanced Medical Torts on March 25 at 3:00 PM CT.

Coniglio’s presentation will analyze the “piercing of the corporate veil” theory of liability, as well as the “alter ego” doctrine which impacts Texas companies in the health care industry. He will address the factors considered by Texas courts when evaluating corporate veil piercing, and the statutory requirements as well as limitations as set forth in the Texas Business Organizations Code. Coniglio will be presenting alongside attorney Michael Sawicki.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to speak to my colleagues in the Texas Bar at the Annual Course on Advanced Medical Torts,” Coniglio said. “The event over the years has been a leading conference for those practicing in the health care litigation area, and offers relevant content as well as timely updates in this complex area to attendees.”

The conference is hosted by the Texas Bar Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program and will offer 11.75 hours of credit (including 3 hours ethics). Texas Bar CLE is regulated by the MCLE department.

Coniglio is a shareholder in the Health Care & FDA Practice. He has wide-ranging experience in the areas of health care law and complex business litigation. He utilizes his 20-plus years of experience in the health care industry to assist a wide variety of health care related entities and providers, including hospitals, physician groups, and long term care facilities, as well as clinical labs and pharmacies in litigation and regulatory matters.

About Greenberg Traurig’s Health Care & FDA Practice: Greenberg Traurig’s multidisciplinary Health Care & FDA Practice provides strategic counsel to a diverse group of companies and other organizations, helping them to respond proactively to the rapidly changing healthcare marketplace. The group combines dedicated experience in health care regulatory compliance and operational matters with the firm’s capabilities in corporate & securities, finance, tax, antitrust, ERISA, commercial and governmental litigation, restructuring, intellectual property and biotechnology, in order to provide a wide range of legal services.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP – Texas: Texas is important to Greenberg Traurig, LLP and part of its history. With approximately 130 Texas lawyers in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Greenberg Traurig has deep roots in the Texas business, legal, and governmental communities. Greenberg Traurig Texas works with clients to address their interdisciplinary legal needs across the state utilizing the firm’s global platform. The Texas attorneys are experienced in industries key to the state’s future, including: aviation, chemicals, construction, education, energy and natural resources, financial institutions, health care, hedge funds, hospitality, infrastructure, insurance, media, medical devices, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, real estate, retail, sports, technology and software, telecommunications, transportation, and video games and esports.

About Greenberg Traurig: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT), has approximately 2200 attorneys in 40 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, diversity, and innovation, and is consistently among the largest firms in the U.S. on the Law360 400 and among the Top 20 on the Am Law Global 100. The firm is net carbon neutral with respect to its office energy usage and Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certified. Web: http://www.gtlaw.com

Media Contact

Lourdes Brezo Martinez, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, +1 212.801.2131, [email protected]

 

SOURCE Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig's Joseph F. Coniglio to Present at the 27th Annual Course on Advanced Medical Torts WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire Science News

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Launches Pioneering Graduate Program in Community Climate Adaptation

0

WORCESTER, Mass., March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Rising sea levels, supercharged storms, persistent droughts, and raging wildfires: the effects of rising atmospheric temperatures are already apparent, and will likely become more prevalent in the decades ahead despite efforts to curb or reverse global climate change. Recognizing a growing national need for professionals with the expertise to help communities and organizations adapt to this new reality, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has launched a first-of-its-kind master of science program in Community Climate Adaptation.

The interdisciplinary program draws on the university’s more than half-century of experience with project-based learning and its pioneering undergraduate Global Projects Program. It is offered jointly by WPI’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Integrative and Global Studies, and housed within The Global School, the newest of WPI’s four academic schools. The 30-credit program includes eight credits of project work (the Graduate Qualifying Project), which will be completed over the course of four to six months spent at one of the university’s more than 50 off-campus project centers, which span six continents.

Most existing graduate programs on climate change focus on either its science or its policy implications. WPI’s program, however, will immerse students in an emerging field that begins with the assumption that the world is locked into a warming trend that will continue for decades to come (nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred in just the last decade and a half and several more degrees of warming are predicted by the end of the century). Therefore, it is vital that communities around the globe become more resilient and able to adapt to the inevitable impacts of a changing climate.

“Just as the field of public health emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to address problems of epidemic infectious disease, we now need to train a workforce that understands how to help communities adapt to the impacts of a changing climate and move forward in sustainable ways,” said Sarah Strauss, professor of integrative and global studies, who co-directs the program with Jeanine Dudle, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Reflecting the highly transdisciplinary nature of climate change and the challenges it poses to cities and towns around the world, students in the program will gain expertise in a number of fields, including engineering, social science, and the physical and biological sciences. They will learn to use that knowledge as they seek to understand the complex network between resources, environment, climate, and people in a community or region. With this approach, students will be better equipped to work with community partners—governments, businesses, and nonprofits—to find solutions appropriate to local contexts.

Students entering the program will be assigned to interdisciplinary cohorts that integrate students with technical and social science backgrounds. Each team will be assigned to one of WPI’s global project centers using a process that takes into consideration the skillsets of team members (including technical expertise and foreign language proficiency); a Massachusetts project center will always be among the choices. The teams will work together at the project sites on interdisciplinary projects that may focus on a broad range of themes, including water resources and quality, loss of land and economic impacts, actual and projected problems of infrastructure inadequacy, differential health and social impacts, and extreme weather events. The specific site and process issues associated with a team’s project will inform the rest of their graduate program.

“Graduates will have developed comparative, collaborative, and holistic understanding of critical global problems, and they will be well equipped to solve them,” Dudle said. “The teams will learn that their capacity for problem solving depends not on everyone bringing the same skillset to the table—however broad that may be—but rather on learning how to work together and with local communities to bring about positive change.”

“We expect that this focused degree program will provide great value for students through a unique participatory experience that is rarely found at the graduate level,” Strauss added, “as well as generating a strong foundation for faculty research and enhanced institutional impacts in the communities where we live and work.”

Students in the program will benefit from the diverse expertise of the program’s 20 faculty members, whose wide-ranging research interests include energy, global environmental change, water quality and treatment, natural materials and their interaction with the environment, urban geography, livelihood studies, global justice, and human-environment geography. “Students can work with faculty across the university to gain collaborative and comparative perspectives on climate change adaptation strategies,” Dudle said.

The market for climate change adaptation education is strong, as are the prospects for employment in the field. TalentDesk, a job search website, projects that the profession of climate change/environmental scientist see an 11 percent growth rate while the profession of climate change analyst will see a growth rate of 12 percent. Graduates of WPI’s program are expected to find employment opportunities in state and local governments, NGOs, businesses preparing for a climate-impacted future, state and national parks and historic monuments, and local and regional branches of federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forestry Service.

WPI’s Community Climate Adaptation program, which will begin in the Fall of 2021, is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in social science, environmental studies or science, the physical or biological sciences, or engineering. “The program is designed to integrate opportunities for learning and expanding knowledge of both technical and non-technical backgrounds, and we encourage students with a wide range of academic and practical experience to apply,” Strauss said.

For more information about the program, visit https://www.wpi.edu/academics/study/community-climate-adaptation-ms.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WPI, a global leader in project-based learning, is a distinctive, top-tier technological university founded in 1865 on the principle that students learn most effectively by applying the theory learned in the classroom to the practice of solving real-world problems. Recognized by the National Academy of Engineering with the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, WPI’s pioneering project-based curriculum engages undergraduates in solving important scientific, technological, and societal problems throughout their education and at more than 50 project centers around the world. WPI offers 70 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs across 17 academic departments in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. Its faculty and students pursue groundbreaking research to meet ongoing challenges in health and biotechnology; robotics and the internet of things; advanced materials and manufacturing; cyber, data, and security systems; learning science; and more. http://www.wpi.edu

Contact:

Andy Baron, Associate Director of Public Relations

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Massachusetts

508-831-5916; 978-235-3407 (cell), [email protected]

Media Contact

Michael Dorsey, WPI, 860-578-6038, [email protected]

 

SOURCE Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Launches Pioneering Graduate Program in Community Climate Adaptation WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire Technology News

U.S. Reps. Dingell, McKinley and Rice Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Eliminate Drunk Driving

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — New bipartisan legislation introduced today would ultimately require car manufacturers to install drunk driving prevention technology as standard equipment in new vehicles. U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan), David McKinley (R-West Virginia) and Kathleen Rice (D-New York) introduced a bill that would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a rulemaking to make this lifesaving technology available in all new passenger vehicles.

The Honoring Abbas Family Legacy to Terminate Drunk Driving (HALT) Act is named in memory of a Northville, Michigan family, Issam and Rima Abbas and their children Ali, Isabella, and Giselle, who were killed by a wrong-way drunk driver while driving home from a Florida vacation in January 2019.

The HALT Drunk Driving Act provisions were adopted by the U.S. House last year as part of passage of the multi-year transportation infrastructure bill known as the Moving Forward Act, which was awaiting action in the U.S. Senate when Congress adjourned in December.

“We have the technology to prevent drunk driving and save lives, and it’s long past time that we use it,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “Issam, Rima, Ali, Isabella, and Giselle Abbas should all still be with us today, but a driver with a BAC nearly four times the legal limit was allowed to get behind the wheel of a car and senselessly take their lives. The HALT Drunk Driving Act will make our roads safer and will help us bring an end to the trauma of drunk driving deaths and injuries in this country.”

“During my tenure as Nassau County District Attorney on Long Island, and throughout my time in Congress, I have made combating drunk driving one of my top priorities,” said Congresswoman Rice. “Prosecution and law enforcement strategies are critically important in this effort, but the best way to prevent drunk driving fatalities is to stop anyone who is under the influence from getting behind the wheel in the first place. That’s why I am proud to co-lead the HALT Drunk Driving Act, which will prevent drunk drivers from operating a vehicle by requiring passive drunk driving prevention technology in all new cars. I thank Congresswoman Dingell for introducing this bill to honor the Abbas family and help prevent other families from facing the same tragedy at the hands of a drunk driver.”

“Too many families have lost loved ones to drunk drivers. Every year we lose over 10,000 lives – deaths that are preventable,” said Congressman McKinley. “With the current technology available, no person should be able to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. This legislation will ensure that vehicles utilize technology to stop drunk driving and ensure no more American lives are lost.”

A similar bipartisan bill, known as the RIDE Act, will soon be introduced by Senators Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Rick Scott (R-FL) in the Senate.

New Mexico has the fourth-highest rate in the nation for alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, and the problem is getting worse,” said Senator Luján. “The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act will help prevent drunk driving in the United States and could save over 10,000 lives every year. I am committed to getting this critical legislation passed in the Senate.”

“It is heartbreaking that we have lost so many to the irresponsible actions of drunk drivers, and it’s time to take real, significant action to prevent any further loss,” said Senator Scott. “Our proposals to promote the development of critical alcohol detection technology will be a huge step to protect our families and communities.”

While drunk driving deaths have been cut by more than 50 percent since MADD was established 40 years ago, fatalities have plateaued at 10,000 annually for more than a decade.

More than 9,400 drunk driving deaths could be prevented each year when drunk driving prevention technology is made standard on every new car, according to a study released last year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“The time is now to pass this bipartisan bill and put an end to the trauma suffered by drunk driving victims and their families as a result of someone else’s bad choice,” said MADD National President Alex Otte. “MADD is so grateful for Congresswoman Dingell’s leadership to set in motion one of the most important pieces of legislation in MADD’s 40-year history. We also commend Reps. McKinley and Rice for joining this lifesaving effort. The HALT Drunk Driving Act will make great strides in our fight to eliminate drunk driving, which accounts for more than a quarter of all traffic deaths and injures more than 300,000 people every year.”

“This technology already exists and it could have saved my family,” said Rana Abbas Taylor, sister of the late Rima Abbas. “We have an opportunity here to eliminate drunk driving. It’s time for the federal government and auto industry to act now to prevent other families from the unimaginable pain of losing loved ones to drunk driving. I am so grateful to Congresswoman Dingell for her incredible leadership and swift action in creating legislation in my family’s honor.”

Americans support Congressional action to require drunk driving prevention technology as standard equipment in all new vehicles, according to a new nationwide poll conducted by Ipsos for MADD. The survey found that 9 of 10 Americans support technology that is integrated into a car’s electronics to prevent drunk driving (89% say it is a good or very good idea ), while 3 of 4 (77%) back Congressional action to require this technology in all new vehicles. More broadly, 8 of 10 (83%) believe that new auto safety features should be standard in vehicles as they become available, not part of optional equipment packages.

Such systems include driver monitoring, which can detect signs of distracted, impaired or fatigued driving, and alcohol detection, which uses sensors to determine that a driver is under the influence of alcohol and then prevent the vehicle from moving. Technologies like these will be beneficial not only to prevent drunk driving, but to detect other dangerous behaviors that lead to crashes such as drowsy driving, distracted driving, and even medical emergencies.

“The HALT Drunk Driving Act takes a technology-neutral approach and gives the auto industry a reasonable period of time to include drunk driving prevention technologies as standard equipment in all cars,” said MADD’s Otte. “Drunk driving remains the biggest killer on our roadways, so the benefits of requiring drunk driving detection technology in all vehicles is overwhelming in terms of lives saved. Simply put, this technology cannot be optional.”

Rep. Rice has a long history of fighting drunk driving and supporting MADD from her days as Nassau County, New York, District Attorney, where she was called “the state’s toughest DWI prosecutor” by the New York Daily News. CBS’s 60 Minutes profiled her work to reduce drunk driving in 2008.

Rep. Dingell, Rep. McKinley and Rep. Rice are members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which considers auto safety legislation. MADD also commends the Committee’s Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) for their support of the HALT proposal.

For more information about the HALT Drunk Driving Act and vehicle technology to stop drunk driving, please visit madd.org/HALTAct.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit http://www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

About The Survey

The poll was conducted March 5th to March 7th, 2021 by Ipsos using their KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,016 general population adults age 18 or older, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Media Contact

Becky Iannotta, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 202.600.2032, [email protected]

Kathleen Silverstein, On The Marc Media, 410-963-2345, [email protected]

 

SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving

U.S. Reps. Dingell, McKinley and Rice Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Eliminate Drunk Driving WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire Political/Government News

Media Advisory – Government of Canada to Make Major Housing-Related Announcement in the Capital Regional District

0

SAANICH, BC, March 23, 2021 /CNW/ – The Governments of Canada, British Columbia, and the Capital Regional District will be making a major announcement related to housing.

Media are invited to join the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, and Colin Plant, Chair of the Capital Regional District, and Fred Haynes, Mayor of Saanich, for the announcement.

Date:

March 24th 2021



Time:

8:30 a.m. PT

  • Media will also have the opportunity to participate in the Q&A portion of the announcement by live chat function.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Media Advisory - Government of Canada to Make Major Housing-Related Announcement in the Capital Regional District WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire World News

Automotive Properties REIT Reports 2020 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results

0

TORONTO, March 23, 2021 /CNW/ – Automotive Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: APR.UN) (“Automotive Properties REIT” or the “REIT”) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter (“Q4 2020”) and year ended December 31, 2020 (“2020”).

“We generated solid growth in our key performance measures in the fourth quarter, and throughout 2020, despite the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our growth reflects the impact of our property acquisitions and contractual rent increases across our portfolio. We collected 97 percent of our contractual base rent in 2020, with the remaining amount subject to deferral agreements,” said Milton Lamb, CEO of Automotive Properties REIT. “Our results highlight the strength of our business model, the resiliency of our tenants’ businesses and our strategy of partnering with leading, well-capitalized auto dealership groups in major metropolitan markets across Canada.”  

“Our focus on maintaining a strong liquidity position throughout the pandemic has enabled us to effectively manage through the crisis and to selectively capitalize on growth opportunities,” added Mr. Lamb. “As the pandemic is brought under control and economic conditions continue to stabilize, we expect to see greater opportunities to advance our acquisition program.”

Q4 2020 Highlights

  • The REIT collected 100% of its Q4 2020 contractual base rent due under its leases (excluding 2% of contractual base rent that is subject to rent deferral agreements with tenants (the “Deferral Agreements”)), and approximately 97% of its contractual base rent for 2020, with the remaining amount subject to Deferral Agreements.
  • The REIT paid monthly cash distributions of $0.067 per Unit (defined below), resulting in total distributions declared and paid of approximately $9.6 million in Q4 2020, representing an AFFO payout ratio of approximately 93.9%, compared to total distributions paid of approximately $8.0 million in the three-month period ended December 31, 2019 (“Q4 2019”), representing an AFFO payout ratio of approximately 99.6%. The lower AFFO payout ratio in Q4 2020 reflects organic growth in NOI and acquisitions made during and subsequent to Q4 2019.
  • The REIT continues to have a strong liquidity position with $59.4 million of undrawn credit facilities and a Debt to Gross Book Value (“Debt to GBV”) of 43.2% as at December 31, 2020.
  • The overall capitalization rate applicable to the REIT’s entire portfolio was 6.7% as at December 31, 2020, a reduction of approximately 20 basis points from 6.9% as at September 30, 2020, primarily due to the resilience demonstrated by our tenants’ business.

Subsequent Event

  • On March 1, 2021, the REIT acquired the real estate underlying the Lexus Laval automotive dealership located in Laval, Quebec from the Dilawri Group (“Dilawri”) for a purchase price of approximately $14.8 million. The REIT satisfied the purchase price by issuing 1,369,102 trust units of the REIT to Dilawri, raising Dilawri’s effective interest in the REIT to approximately 28.1%.

Financial Results Summary¹          





Three months ended 

December 31,

Twelve months ended 

December 31,








($000s, except per Unit amounts)

2020

2019

Change

2020

2019

Change








Rental revenue (2)

$19,091

$18,122

5.3%

$75,124

$67,580

11.2%








NOI

16,471

15,144

8.8%

64,019

57,354

11.6%








Cash NOI

15,486

14,301

8.3%

60,400

53,844

12.2%








Same Property Cash NOI (excluding bad

debt expense) (2)

13,913

13,743

1.2%

50,842

50,273

1.1%








Net Income (Loss) (3)

30,180

3,894

26,965

(4,499)  








FFO

11,237

8,983

25.1%

43,789

36,148

21.1%








AFFO

10,333

8,227

25.6%

40,498

32,906

23.1%








Distributions per Unit

$0.201

$0.201

$0.804

$0.804















FFO per Unit – basic (4)

0.236

0.222

0.014

0.919

1.003

-0.084

FFO per Unit – diluted (5)

0.233

0.220

0.013

0.910

0.997

-0.087








AFFO per Unit – basic (4)

0.217

0.203

0.014

0.850

0.913

-0.063

AFFO per Unit – diluted (5)   

0.214

0.202

0.012

0.841

0.908

-0.067








Ratios (%)







FFO payout ratio

86.3%

91.2%

-4.9%

88.4%

80.6%

7.8%

AFFO payout ratio

93.9%

99.6%

-5.7%

95.6%

88.6%

7.0%

Debt to GBV

43.2%

43.6%

-0.4%

43.2%

43.6%

-0.4%

(1)

NOI, Cash NOI, Same Property Cash NOI, FFO, AFFO, Debt to GBV, FFO Payout Ratio, AFFO Payout Ratio and ACFO are non-IFRS financial measures. See “Non-IFRS Financial Measures” in this news release. References to “Same Property” correspond to properties that the REIT owned in Q4 2019, thus removing the impact of acquisitions.

(2)

Rental revenue is based on rents from leases entered into with tenants, all of which are triple-net leases and include recoverable realty taxes and straight-line adjustments. Same Property Cash NOI is based on rental revenue for the same asset base having consistent gross leasable area in both periods.

(3)

Net income for Q4 2020 includes changes in fair value adjustments of $7.6 million for Class B limited partnership units of Automotive Properties Limited Partnership (“Class B LP Units”), deferred units (“DUs”) and income deferred units (“IDUs”), $1.4 million for interest rate swaps and $27.1 million for investment properties. Please refer to the consolidated financial statements of the REIT and notes thereto.

(4)

FFO per Unit and AFFO per Unit – basic is calculated by dividing the total FFO and AFFO by the amount of the total weighted average number of outstanding trust units of the REIT (“REIT Units” and together with the Class B LP Units, “Units”) and Class B LP Units. The total weighted average number of Units outstanding– basic for Q4 2020 was 47,630,305.

(5)

FFO per Unit and AFFO per Unit – diluted is calculated by dividing the total FFO and AFFO by the amount of the total weighted average number of outstanding Units, DUs and IDUs granted to certain independent trustees and management of the REIT. The total weighted average number of Units outstanding (including Class B LP Units, DUs and IDUs) on a fully diluted basis for Q4 2020 was 48,203,686.

Rental revenue was $19.1 million in Q4 2020 and $75.1 million in 2020, representing increases of 5.3% and 11.2%, respectively from Q4 2019 and the year ended December 31, 2019 (“2019”). Increased rental revenue in Q4 2020 and 2020 reflects growth from properties acquired during and subsequent to Q4 2019 and 2019, respectively, and contractual annual rent increases.

The REIT generated total Cash NOI of $15.5 million in Q4 2020 and $60.4 million in 2020, representing increases of 8.3% and 12.2%, respectively, from Q4 2019 and 2019. The increases were primarily attributable to the properties acquired during and subsequent to Q4 2019 and 2019, respectively, as well as contractual rent increases. The increase in Cash NOI for 2020 was partially offset by bad debt expense. Same Property Cash NOI (excluding bad debt expense) was $13.9 million in Q4 2020 and $50.8 million in 2020, representing increases of 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively, from Q4 2019 and 2019. The increases were attributable to contractual rent increases.

The REIT recorded net income of $30.2 million in Q4 2020, compared to net income of $3.9 million in Q4 2019. Net income for 2020 was $27.0 million, compared to a net loss of $4.5 million in 2019. The positive variances were primarily due to increases in NOI and fair value adjustments for interest rate swaps, investment properties and Class B LP Units, DUs and IDUs.

FFO was $11.2 million, or $0.233 per Unit (diluted) in Q4 2020 and $43.8 million, or $0.910 per Unit (diluted) in 2020. That compares to FFO of $9.0 million, or $0.220 per Unit (diluted) in Q4 2019 and $36.1 million, or $0.997 per Unit (diluted) in 2019, respectively. The increases in FFO in Q4 2020 and 2020 were primarily due to the impact of the properties acquired during and subsequent to Q4 2019 and 2019, respectively, and contractual rent increases. The decline in FFO per Unit (diluted) in 2020 partially reflects the deleveraging and enhancing of the REIT’s liquidity position as a result of the REIT’s issuance of 7.9 million REIT units for gross proceeds of $92 million in December 2019 (the “December 2019 Equity Offering”).   

AFFO was $10.3 million, or $0.214 per Unit (diluted) in Q4 2020 and $40.5 million, or $0.841 per Unit (diluted) in 2020. That compares to AFFO of $8.2 million, or $0.202 per Unit (diluted) in Q4 2019 and $32.9 million, or $0.908 per Unit (diluted) in 2019. The increases in AFFO in Q4 2020 and 2020 primarily reflect the impact of the properties acquired during and subsequent to Q4 2019 and 2019, respectively, together with contractual rent increases. The decline in AFFO per Unit (diluted) in 2020 was due to the impact of the December 2019 Equity Offering, as noted above.

Adjusted Cash Flow from Operations1 (“ACFO”) for Q4 2020 and 2020 increased to $13.4 million and $40.3 million, respectively, compared to $8.8 million and $34.1 million, respectively, in Q4 2019 and 2019. The increase in Q4 2020 was primarily due to the collections of tenant rent deferrals pursuant to the Deferral Agreements in Q4 2020, the impact of the properties acquired during and subsequent to Q4 2019, and contractual rent increases. The increase in 2020 reflects the impact of the properties acquired during and subsequent to 2019, as well as contractual rent increases.

Cash Distributions

The REIT is currently paying monthly cash distributions of $0.067 per Unit, representing $0.804 per Unit on an annualized basis. For Q4 2020, the REIT declared and paid total distributions of $9.6 million to unitholders, or $0.201 per Unit, representing an AFFO payout ratio of 93.9%. For 2020, the REIT declared and paid total distributions of $38.3 million, or $0.804 per Unit, representing an AFFO payout ratio of 95.6%. The AFFO payout ratio was lower in Q4 2020 compared to Q4 2019 as a result of organic growth in NOI and acquisitions made during and subsequent to Q4 2019. The AFFO payout ratio was higher in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the deleveraging and enhancing of the REIT’s liquidity position as a result of the closing of the December 2019 Equity Offering.

Liquidity and Capital Resources 

As at December 31, 2020, the REIT was in a strong liquidity position with a Debt to GBV of 43.2%, $59.4 million of undrawn credit facilities, approximately $0.3 million of cash on hand, and nine unencumbered properties with a value of approximately $150.5 million. The REIT added a tenth unencumbered property on March 1, 2021 when it acquired the real estate underlying the Lexus Laval automotive dealership, as described above. The aggregate value of the 10 unencumbered properties currently in the portfolio is approximately $165.3 million.

Units Outstanding

As at December 31, 2020, there were 37,697,052 REIT Units and 9,933,253 Class B LP Units outstanding. On March 1, 2021, the REIT issued an additional 1,369,102 REIT Units to Dilawri to satisfy the purchase price for the real estate underlying the Lexus Laval automotive dealership, as described above.

Outlook 

The REIT has collected 100% of its expected January, February and March 2021 contractual base rent under the leases, plus contractual base rent that is subject to the Deferral Agreements.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, provinces across Canada began implementing emergency measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the second half of March 2020, resulting in the full or partial closure of automotive dealerships until the end of May 2020. By the end of May 2020, all of the REIT’s tenants were open for business. However, partial closures or heightened restrictions were reinstated for automotive dealerships across Canada in November 2020 and continue to this date. According to Statistics Canada, new automobile sales per unit in Canada for the year ended December 31, 2020 were down approximately 20.8% compared to the corresponding period in 2019. Industry analysts have stated that Canadian automobile retail sales were down by 13.4% in January 2021 when compared to January 2020, as a result of tight lockdowns which restricted activity across the country. Automotive dealerships have been provided with support from original equipment manufacturers, financial institutions, governments and rent deferral programs throughout the pandemic. As provincial COVID-19 related restrictions ease, pent-up consumer demand is expected to result in an increase in Canadian auto sales and in service work performed by the automotive dealerships. However, the length and severity of the pandemic, and the related impact on the financial performance and financial position of the REIT and its tenants in future periods, including as a result of the restrictions implemented in Q4 2020, is unknown at this time.

As a result of COVID-19 and the related economic uncertainty and the REIT’s primary focus on its own liquidity preservation, the REIT expects a slower pace of industry consolidation in the automotive dealership industry during 2021, compared to the pace of consolidation prior to the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Management and the Trustees are closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the REIT’s business and the business of the REIT’s tenants, and will continue to prudently manage the REIT’s available resources during this period of economic uncertainty. Management is well prepared to adjust its business continuity and other plans should risk levels rise as the pandemic continues to evolve.

Financial Statements

The REIT’s audited consolidated financial statements and related Management’s Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”) for the year ended December 31, 2020 are available on the REIT’s website at www.automotivepropertiesreit.ca and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Conference Call

Management of the REIT will host a conference call for analysts and investors on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. (ET). The dial-in numbers for the conference call are (416) 764-8688 or (888) 390-0546. A live and archived webcast of the call will be accessible via the REIT’s website www.automotivepropertiesreit.ca.

To access a replay of the conference call, dial (416) 764-8677 or (888) 390-0541, passcode: 443640 #. The replay will be available until March 31, 2021.

About Automotive Properties REIT

Automotive Properties REIT is an unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust focused on owning and acquiring primarily income-producing automotive dealership properties located in Canada. The REIT’s portfolio currently consists of 66 income-producing commercial properties, representing approximately 2.5 million square feet of gross leasable area, in metropolitan markets across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec. Automotive Properties REIT is the only public vehicle in Canada focused on consolidating automotive dealership real estate properties. For more information, please visit: www.automotivepropertiesreit.ca.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, which reflects the REIT’s current expectations regarding future events and in some cases can be identified by such terms as “will” and “expected”. Forward-looking information includes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the REIT and its tenants including with respect to payment of rents and deferrals thereof. Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the REIT’s control that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by such forward-looking information. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed under “Risks & Uncertainties, Critical Judgements & Estimates” in the REIT’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2020 and in the REIT’s annual information form dated March 23, 2021, which are available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and the REIT’s website (www.automotivepropertiesreit.com). The REIT does not undertake any obligation to update such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law. This forward-looking information speaks only as of the date of this news release.

Non-IFRS Financial Measures

This news release contains certain financial measures which are not defined under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other real estate investment trusts or enterprises. FFO, AFFO, FFO payout ratio, AFFO payout ratio, NOI, Cash NOI, and Same Property Cash NOI are key measures of performance used by the REIT’s management and real estate businesses. Debt to GBV is a measure of financial position defined by the REIT’s declaration of trust. These measures, as well as any associated “per Unit” amounts, are not defined by IFRS and do not have standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS, and therefore should not be construed as alternatives to net income or cash flow from operating activities calculated in accordance with IFRS. The REIT believes that AFFO is an important measure of economic earnings performance and is indicative of the REIT’s ability to pay distributions from earnings, while FFO, NOI, Cash NOI and Same Property Cash NOI are important measures of operating performance of real estate businesses and properties. The IFRS measurement most directly comparable to FFO, AFFO, NOI, Cash NOI and Same Property Cash NOI is net income. ACFO is a supplementary measure used by management to improve the understanding of the operating cash flow of the REIT. The IFRS measurement most directly comparable to ACFO is cash flow from operating activities. See the REIT’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2020 for further discussion of these non-IFRS financial measures and for a reconciliation of NOI, FFO, AFFO and Cash NOI to net income and comprehensive income and ACFO to cash flow from operating activities.

SOURCE Automotive Properties Real Estate Investment Trust

Automotive Properties REIT Reports 2020 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire Business News

Inspired Spine Hosts OLLIF Observation and Cadaver Lab

0

BURNSVILLE, Minn., March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As its standard practice to employ the most advanced training methods available, Inspired Spine hosted a Surgery Observation and Cadaver Lab last week at its Burnsville campus. Doctors from across the country attended this event to observe two live OLLIF procedures and receive hands-on training for this technique. The participants also witnessed the introduction of the recently launched Trident™ Sacroiliac Joint Fusion System following the OLLIF Cadaver Lab. 

Many surgeons that participate in Inspired Spine case observation and training events depart with a deeper understanding of the OLLIF approach combined with a genuine desire and excitement to incorporate this technique into their spine surgery practices.  “The OLLIF as well as Inspired Spine’s facility and overall enterprise are very impressive,” said Dr. Ratnesh Mehra, a participating surgeon from Detroit. “I am very interested in performing this procedure as soon as possible.”

Another participating Surgeon, Dr. Douglas Crowther from Colorado Springs, CO stated, “the observation and lab was very beneficial and I am already trying to select patients to put on for certain days to have Dr. Abbasi come out and teach me further.”

Dr. Abbasi, MD PhD, a board certified Neurosurgeon and Chief Medical Officer of Inspired Spine, explained,  “Although hosting a cadaver lab is resource intensive, it is the best way to ensure that surgeons can initially learn and practice the OLLIF technique in a safe and controlled environment.” 

During the two-part event, the attendees observed Dr. Abbasi performing a complex multilevel OLLIF fusion in under an hour at an Ambulatory Surgery Center. The surgeons were provided a real-time view of the OLLIF procedure’s superior efficiency as compared to open-spine surgery. 

After the event, Dr. Abbasi made the point that “Inspired Spine continues to teach surgeons free of charge, as its primary mission is to elevate and improve the standards of minimally invasive spine care.”

The OLLIF approach, on average, requires just 40 minutes of procedure time, while open methods for lumbar fusion are typically performed in 2-4 hours. Many OLLIF patients are discharged from the surgery center within 2-4 hours post-op, which is extremely unusual for spinal fusions.

“It is very uncommon for a private healthcare provider to operate an entire educational facility with a fully equipped cadaver lab.  Furthermore, we are the only private practice of whom we are aware that has incorporated a CT machine to present immediate post-training results from the cadaver,” said Dr Abbasi.

Following a surgeon’s participation in its observation and cadaver lab events, Inspired Spine also delivers continuous instruction at the surgeon’s practice location.  This extensive training includes Inspired Spine surgeons providing proctoring in hospital and ASC operating rooms across the nation.

With two locations in Minnesota, and an expanding national network of surgeons who are incorporating the revolutionary OLLIF procedure into their practices across the country, Inspired Spine is continuously growing with affiliate surgeons in Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Texas and Michigan.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about Inspired Spine, please visit inspiredspine.com or call 952-405-6714

Cision View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inspired-spine-hosts-ollif-observation-and-cadaver-lab-301254126.html

SOURCE Inspired Spine

Inspired Spine Hosts OLLIF Observation and Cadaver Lab WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire Science News

Regulator greenlights OANDA acquisition of TMS Brokers

0

LONDON, March 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A global leader in online multi-asset trading services, currency data and analytics, OANDA Global Corporation has received regulatory approval to complete the acquisition of leading Polish broker, Dom Maklerski TMS Brokers SA (TMS). The purchase was approved by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority earlier today.

Gavin Bambury, Chief Executive Officer of OANDA, said, “We’re delighted to have received regulatory approval for the acquisition of TMS Brokers. With the purchase now approved, we’re looking forward to closing the deal and beginning work on the integration of our technology infrastructure, key tools and trading resources in order to deliver the best possible trading experience to OANDA and TMS clients alike.”

OANDA first entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of TMS Brokers in September 2020. The deal marks the first in a series of strategic acquisitions OANDA is looking to complete in the coming years.

About OANDA

Founded in 1996, OANDA was the first company to share exchange rate data free of charge on the Internet, launching an FX trading platform that helped pioneer the development of web-based currency trading five years later. Today, the group provides online multi-asset trading, currency data and analytics to retail and corporate clients, demonstrating an unrivalled expertise in foreign exchange. With regulated entities in eight of the world’s most active financial markets, OANDA remains dedicated to transforming the business of foreign exchange. For more information, please visit oanda.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

About TMS

TMS Brokers is the oldest multi-asset broker in Poland. Since 1997, TMS has provided service to thousands of Polish and European customers offering trading on FX, CFDs on indices, single stocks and commodities with MT4/MT5 platforms and an innovative proprietary mobile app. The firm’s multiple-award-winning team helps individuals and companies with all currency and equities related services that include advisory and analysis, money exchange and licensed digital payment solutions.

 

SOURCE OANDA

Regulator greenlights OANDA acquisition of TMS Brokers WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire Business News

WeeklyReviewer