Ventas to pay $1.5 billion to acquire Wexford assets

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Debra Cafaro, Ventas chairman and CEO
Debra Cafaro, Ventas chairman and CEO

Ventas will pay $1.5 billion to acquire almost all of the life science and medical real estate assets of developer Wexford Science & Technology from affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII L.P., the Chicago-based real estate investment trust announced Tuesday. The transaction, for which Ventas also will assume $33 million in liabilities, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

“This acquisition and alliance with Wexford are a natural fit for Ventas and reinforce our position as the premier provider of capital at the intersection of healthcare and real estate,” said Ventas Chairman and CEO Debra A. Cafaro. The REIT's diversified portfolio contains almost 1,300 seniors housing and healthcare properties in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The newly acquired properties have significant growth potential, Cafaro added.

The transaction will add 25 class-A assets that are leased by Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Washington University in St. Louis, Wake Forest University, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and other universities, academic medical centers and research companies. The portfolio includes 23 operating properties that contain 4.1 million square feet and two development assets affiliated with Duke and Wake Forest universities encompassing approximately 400,000 square feet. Ventas also is acquiring nine development sites near the existing assets.

As part of the acquisition, Ventas will enter into a long-term management and pipeline agreement with Wexford, whereby Ventas will own the existing real estate portfolio, Ventas will have exclusive rights to jointly develop future projects with Wexford, and Wexford will continue to manage the portfolio. Wexford, based in Baltimore, will be independently owned and operated by its experienced, existing management team.

Ventas is offering 9 million shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering and intends to use the net proceeds to fund a portion of the purchase price for the Wexford portfolio.

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