TransCanada PipeLines Sells Nova Tower

TransCanada PipeLines Limited recently sold its landmark office tower to a consortium of private investors led by Harold Milavsky, former chairman of Trizec Corp., in a transaction valued at $94 million. The ultra-modern stainless steel tower was the corporate headquarters of Nova Corp. until its $14 billion merger with TransCanada in July 1998. The 37 storey building is considered one of Calgary’s premiere office structures, having garnered numerous design honours including a Governor General’s award for architecture.

As part of the sale transaction, TransCanada agreed to a short-term lease of 586,000 square feet of office space in the building. TransCanada plans to relocate its staff to a new 35 storey office tower currently under construction in Calgary.

The purchasers were represented by Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP led by Kevin Keyes, with assistance from Eric Semmens, Garth Anderson, Michael Rasmuson and Nadine Berge. Additional support was provided by Eugene Durand of Fraser Milner Casgrain.

Leading up to the conveyance, TransCanada sold its crude oil marketing operation for $40 million to Canadian Occidental Petroleum Ltd., who committed to a long-term lease of 400,000 square feet of office premises in the building as part of the deal. Canadian Occidental was represented by Richard Dawson and Carol Reesor, of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. McCarthy Tétrault provided advice to the TransCanada team on both transactions, led by in-house lawyers Graham Bennett and David Putnam. The McCarthy contingent was anchored by Kieth Mullback, with support from Shawn Belecki.
Following the purchase, the new owners immediately signed UtiliCorp Canada Corp. to a long-term lease for 71,000 square feet of office space. UtiliCorp recently acquired all of the electrical distribution and retail assets of TransAlta Corporation. UtiliCorp was represented by a Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer team comprised of Grant Zawalsky, Miles Pittman, Terry Livermore and Robert Homme.

Financing for the purchase transaction was provided by Clarica Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company, who were represented by William Blain of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and by Canadian Western Bank represented by Burstall Ward’s Scott Sangster. Documentation for the $78 million in loan facilities was overseen by Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP’s Eric Semmens, with support from Robert Housman and Jason McCormick.