Ventas to acquire Atria Senior Living for $3.1 billion

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CHICAGO-Ventas, Inc., announced late last month that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all real estate assets of Atria Senior Living Group-the fourth largest assisted living operator in the United States-for $3.1 billion. Payment will be comprised of $1.35 billion in Ventas common stock, $150 million in cash, and the assumption or repayment of $1.6 billion of net debt.

Ventas will acquire from Atria 118 private-pay seniors housing assets located in several affluent markets, including the New York metropolitan area, New England, Boston, and California. The portfolio to be acquired, which consists of 110 stable assets and eight redevelopment assets, contains approximately 13,500 units, with a median community size of 110 units, a median community age of 12 years, and a current average occupancy rate exceeding 87%.

Louisville-based Atria will continue to manage the portfolio of communities and will remain an independent, privately owned management company.

“The addition of 118 exceptional seniors housing assets […] will establish Ventas as the largest owner of seniors housing communities in the United States,” said Debra A. Cafaro, Ventas chairman, president, and CEO, in a release.

Ventas expects the portfolio to generate approximately $640 million in revenues in 2011.

Upon closing, Ventas will have more than 35,000 seniors housing units across 350 properties in its portfolio and will conduct business with four of the top five assisted living operators in the United States.

“This new relationship with Ventas will combine Atria’s senior housing management and operations expertise with the strength of an S&P 500 company known for making high-quality, long-term real estate investments,” said Atria CEO John A. Moore. “This puts us in a position to keep our residents, employees, and commitment to quality as our utmost priorities. Ventas’ commitment to make a long-term investment in our real estate will serve as the basis for the continued growth of the Atria platform.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to approval and other customary closing conditions. Ventas expects the acquisition to be completed in the first half of 2011.

Earlier in October, Ventas agreed to acquire the interests in 58 communities from Sunrise Senior Living, Inc., for $41.5 million. Upon closing, Ventas will own 100% of all 79 of its communities managed by Sunrise.

Experts propose revised definition of Alzheimer’s

International Alzheimer’s disease experts are proposing new criteria for diagnosing dementia at an earlier stage, which in turn would get more patients into drug trials or on treatments, Medscape Today reported.

Operating under the name International Working Group for New Research Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, the experts released a position paper online, which will also appear in the November issue of Lancet Neurology, which details their stance on a revised definition of Alzheimer’s.

“The recent advances in use of reliable biomarkers of [Alzehimer’s] that provide in-vivo evidence of the disease has stimulated the development of new research criteria that reconceptualise the diagnosis around both a specific pattern of cognitive changes and structural/biological evidence of Alzheimer’s pathology,” the experts wrote.

If Alzheimer’s is redefined as a biological syndrome, earlier diagnosis and treatment could be made based on such biomarkers.

“To meet these new criteria for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, patients would not necessarily have clinical symptoms of dementia, but would have episodic memory impairment together with at least one positive biomarker shown on a brain scan or in a test called a cerebrospinal fluid analysis,” Reuters reported.

LTL NEWS TICKER ‖ An analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that the average American retirement savings shortfall is about $48,000 per individual, with the aggregate national shortfall at $4.6 trillion ‖ Medicare Advantage plan enrollment as of August 1 stood at 11,791,508-or nearly 25% of all Medicare eligibles ‖

Long-Term Living 2010 November;59(11):10

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