Units in Slate Office REIT sank 20 per cent after the trust suspended its monthly cash distributions and announced a plan to sell a large part of its portfolio of properties.

Slate units were down 21 cents at 81 cents in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The trust said late Tuesday that its management and board has identified non-core assets for sale comprising about 40 per cent of its total gross leasable area.

Slate also said the move to suspend its distribution is expected to provide it with an additional $10.2 million of cash annually that will be used to repay debt and fund its ongoing operations.

The changes came as Slate reported a net loss of $34.7 million in its quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a profit of $18.4 million in the same quarter last year, while rental revenue held steady at $51 million.

The trust's funds from operations amounted to $4.8 million or six cents per unit for the quarter, down from $10.3 million or 12 cents per unit a year earlier.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2023.