Montreal’s Amcor looking southward for acquisitions

Montreal-based Amcor Holdings Inc. made its first major foray into the U.S. office market recently with a US$25.1-million purchase of 10 office buildings in Columbus, Ohio.
“In the U.S. you have a lot of (Colombus-sized cities). In Canada, it would be a big city, it is a million-plus” people, said Ziki Zaffir, Amcor's president. “We think it is a very stable market, it is the (seat) of the local state government and it has apparently the third largest university,” he added.
Columbus, the capital and largest city in Ohio, is home to Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College.
In the U.S., Amcor also owns residential properties in New York and in Orlando, Florida.
“This was the first commercial” purchase, said Zaffir. A local publication said that the 10 office buildings, situated in the corridor along the I-270 highway, are in an area where the vacancy rate is approximately 16.5%, or about equal with the office space vacancy in the Columbus metropolitan area.
According to the report, the city might offer tax incentives to upgrade Amcor`s new portfolio of office buildings, but stated that the issue was not addressed in the meeting with the owners. A city official said in the report that Amcor does plan to make improvements and will try to fully lease the buildings.
Still looking for U.S. acquisitions
The Amcor president said that his company will stay on the lookout for other deals in the U.S. “We like what we see in the States.”
A Canadian market that is currently tilted more in favour of sellers rather than buyers may at least partly explain Amcor`s southern strategy.
“In Canada, right now, we don’t see many deals that make sense to us,” explained the Amcor president. “It is very expensive, very compressed cap rates.”
Asked what flagship properties Amcor owns that people might know, Zaffir said the company's holdings are lower profile. “We don’t own that many trophy buildings, we own more run of the mill buildings.” The majority of its properties are currently in Quebec, said Zaffir.
In Montreal, Amcor owns the Faubourg residential building and an office building at 2100 Drummond. Amcor used to own 270 Albert St., an office building in downtown Ottawa close to the Parliament buildings. “We used to have some properties in Ontario, including Ottawa. I guess in retrospect, maybe, unfortunately, we sold them but life goes on.”
Diversified commercial and residential holdings
Amcor Holdings Inc. and its principals own and manage a portfolio of nearly $500 million in real estate assets through partnerships and direct holdings in Canada and the United States, according to its website. Its holdings include more than 1,000 apartment units and more than two million square feet of commercial real estate, as well as holding land for development purposes.
Amcor specializes in providing a complete range of mortgage financing, including bridge and mezzanine financing along with first and second rank mortgages via institutional and private funding for all types of revenue producing properties.



Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

Read more

Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

Read more




Industry Events