The recent recipient of $102 million in compensatory damages, real estate investment trust Ventas, Inc., is now seeking an additional judgment of punitive damages against HCP, Inc., estimated to be run as high as $300 million, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A legal battle spanning several years, including two years worth of appeals by HCP, the case stems from Ventas’ accusation that HCP drove up the purchase price of the Sunrise Senior Living real estate investment trust during its 2007 acquisition.
“The battle over Sunrise is a cautionary tale for companies that underscores the importance of playing by the rules in takeover battles,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “In 2006, when Sunrise Senior Living put its 31,000 units of senior housing and other assets up for sale in a confidential auction, both Ventas and HCP signed up to participate. They both signed a so-called ‘standstill agreement,’ which prohibited them from making or publicly announcing bids for 18 months after the auction ended, according to court documents.”