Newport Beach company part of large real estate trust deal

Senior-living facility owner Ventas Inc. will buy Newport Beach-based Nationwide Health Properties Inc. for $5.8 billion in stock in one of the largest healthcare-related real estate investment trust deals ever.

Ventas' portfolio will double across the country and in Canada to more than 1,300 properties, including senior-housing facilities, medical office buildings, skilled nursing facilities, specialty hospitals and continuing-care retirement communities. The company will own and lease facilities to more than 100 healthcare service providers.

When the deal closes in the third quarter, Ventas will become the largest senior housing owner in the U.S., with headquarters remaining in Chicago, the company said Monday. The deal is valued at $7.4 billion with debt.

Shareholders will receive 0.7866 Ventas shares for each Nationwide share, now worth $44.99 a share, a premium of 15.5% over Friday's $38.96 price.

Ventas closed at $57.19 on Friday and slipped as much as 5% during Monday morning trading. Nationwide's shares jumped as high as 13%.

Nationwide shareholders will own 35% of the new company, with Ventas shareholders owning 65%.

Ventas Chief Executive Debra A. Cafaro said that Nationwide's history of regional acquisitions and strong financial performance was appealing.

"The combination of Ventas and NHP increases the scale and diversification of the combined company, the strength and flexibility of the company's balance sheet and the quality and geography of the assets," Cafaro said in a statement.

As demand for senior housing facilities rises, Ventas has had its eye on acquisitions. In October, the company agreed to buy the real estate assets of Atria Senior Living Group for $1.5 billion.

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