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Starlight poised for “aggressive and visible” growth

A year after the formation of Northview Apartment REIT and the recent hiring of Raj Mehta as glob...

A year after the formation of Northview Apartment REIT and the recent hiring of Raj Mehta as global head of private capital and partnerships, the stage is set for the next phase of Starlight Investments Ltd.’s evolution.

Raj Mehta Starlight“We feel that we need to be more systematic in how we raise capital to fuel this growth,” said Starlight president and chief executive officer Daniel Drimmer.

“With our strong performance record coupled with our investment discipline, we feel that our real estate platform and offering will be of high interest to institutional and high net worth investors who are seeking to deploy private capital. For these reasons, we decided to create this new position at Starlight and are very fortunate that we found a good skill, experience and cultural fit in Raj.”

Mehta (shown in image) has spent the last 12 years with Goldman Sachs International in London, England, where he most recently led the firm’s investment banking efforts with sovereign wealth and pension fund clients. He previously held senior leadership roles at 724 Solutions Inc. and Deloitte Consulting in Toronto, New York City and London.

Starlight’s assets under management

Starlight is a Toronto-based, privately held, full-service real estate investment and asset management company that has $6.3 billion in multi-residential and commercial properties under management for joint venture partnerships with institutional investors, Northview Apartment REIT (NVU.UN-T), True North Commercial REIT (TNT.UN-T), Starlight U.S. Multi Family Core Funds (SUF.A-X, UMP.A-X, SUD.A-X) and private investors.

Starlight’s portfolio consists of more than 400 properties comprising approximately 32,500 multi-residential units and more than 2.4 million square feet of commercial properties in 40 North American cities. It has a team of more than 110 people.

“You can expect Starlight being more aggressive and visible as we pursue growth with new and existing investors in both fund and joint venture structures,” said Drimmer.

Starlight sees significant opportunities in Canada and the United States and will continue to focus its attention on North America for the next two to three years. Drimmer added, however, that the company is open to international opportunities if the right circumstances emerge in the future.

Starlight’s 2016 acquisitions

Starlight’s 2016 Canadian acquisitions include: a mixed-use, multi-residential property with 169 suites in Barrie, Ont.; and six multi-residential properties totaling 172 units in Toronto. TrueNorth Commercial REIT acquired a two-storey Mississauga office building and its U.S. multi-family fund acquired apartment complexes in Raleigh, N.C., Denver, Colo. and Nashville, Tenn.

Northern Property Real Estate Investment Trust acquired True North Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust last August to create Northview Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust. At the same time, Northern Property REIT acquired a 4,650-suite multi-family portfolio from Starlight and a joint venture between the Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Starlight for an aggregate purchase price of $535 million.

Drimmer (who was also True North Apartment REIT’s chairman) became the largest shareholder in Northview Apartment REIT with a 14.5-per cent stake. He also secured a pipeline to sell other Starlight properties in the future as part of the deal while Starlight continued to manage the True North and institutional portfolios following the transaction.

Almost a year later, Drimmer said he’s satisfied with the way the deal has worked out for Starlight.

“The Northview executive and management team are great to work and deal with and the share price reflects the success of the combined platform as we had thought and hoped it would play out in the eyes of the capital markets and investors, although the share price still has a lot of room to grow to reflect the true value of the underlying portfolio.”

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