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Nursing Home Firm Gets New Bid

From Reuters

Nursing home operator Beverly Enterprises Inc. said Friday that it received an unsolicited $1.64-billion takeover offer from a group of investors, two days after agreeing to be bought by North American Senior Care Inc. for $1.63 billion.

The investor group, led by Formation Capital, raised its offer for Beverly to $12.90 a share in cash, topping its previous overtures and the $12.80-a-share deal that Beverly sealed with North American on Wednesday.

The two offers were so close in value that North American could easily return with a higher bid, creating a bidding war for the company that operates 345 nursing homes and dozens of assisted living and hospice centers, stock traders said.

The Formation Capital consortium, which owns about 8% of Beverly’s stock, includes other hedge funds such as Appaloosa Management, Franklin Mutual Advisors and Northbrook NBV. In January, that group launched a $1.5-billion unsolicited bid for Beverly, putting pressure on the company to put itself up for sale in March.

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In addition to the $1.63 billion in cash, North American would assume $224 million in debt. It was unclear whether Formation Capital’s proposal included plans to assume the debt.

Fort Smith, Ark.-based Beverly said that it would work to finalize a deal with Formation Capital, but that the existing deal with North American Senior Care remained in effect. North American could not be reached for comment.

Beverly shares rose 15 cents to $12.81.


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