Larco Investments is one of Canada’s largest privately- held real estate companies and owned by one of Canada’s wealthiest families, the Lalji family, worth nearly $2.7 billion. In 2015, the family ranked #26 on the annual list of Canada’s richest 100 individuals and families, according to Canadian Business. Brothers Amin, Mansoor and Shiraz Lalji formed the Larco Group of Companies in the 1970s.
Their most visible holdings include Whistler Village Centre, Bridge Film Studios, Maple Leaf Self Storage, Maple Leaf Property Management, Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver, luxury hotels like the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, and its portfolio of federal office buildings. Larco is also affiliated with Precis Management Services Limited in the UK.
In 2007, Larco made headlines when they entered into a controversial 25-year sale-leaseback agreement with the Government – the first of its kind in Canada – for seven office buildings worth $1.4 billion. The deal included mostly prime downtown properties located in Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. Canada Revenue Agency is a major tenant in three of the buildings. Critics strongly opposed the sale of the federal buildings and called it a massive giveaway of public assets.
When the Government entered into the deal, Larco executives, through a separate entity, had initiated a deal several years earlier utilizing shell companies based in the British Virgin Islands and Liechtenstein to hold assets of a Las Vegas hotel and casino. The same offshore vehicles were used to transfer millions of dollars out of a Canadian family trust tied to key principals of Larco.