New York-based global investment firm KKR & Co. is a new financial partner for Benchmark Senior Living, buying 48 communities that formerly were owned by real estate investment trust Welltower, the Worcester Business Journal reported.

Earlier this month, Toledo, OH-based Welltower reported that it had ended its eight-year relationship with Waltham, MA-based Benchmark in July with the sale of the portfolio for the gross price of $1.8 billion. It did not publicly name the buyer at the time, however.

The REIT planned to sell 11 properties, Welltower Chief Investment Officer Shankh Mitra said, but it received a “double-digit number of bids,” and three of them sought to purchase the entire portfolio. “We got a great price that we couldn’t refuse, so we sold the portfolio,” he said. 

Welltower said it has the potential to receive an additional $50 million in earnout proceeds from the transaction.

Benchmark’s recapitalization closed in early July, according to the REIT. Under a new management agreement with the new capital partner, Benchmark will continue to manage the 4,137-unit portfolio of assisted living properties in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, the REIT said.

“Strong financial partners enable us to invest in our communities and service offerings as we strive to provide personalized, meaningful life experiences to our associates, residents and their loved ones,” Benchmark said in a statement. “While this particular change in our capital structure will have no immediate impact on daily operations, it will allow us to reinvest in our communities, explore growth opportunities and advance our mission to deeply understand seniors and their families through genuine, purposeful human connection.”

In January 2018, KKR announced that it has closed on a $2 billion fund that would invest in senior living communities as well as apartment buildings for people of all ages.

A year earlier, a newly formed company controlled by KKR, with Walgreens Boots Alliance as a minority investor, also acquired PharMerica Corp. for $1.4 billion.

Earlier this year, KKR closed on its acquisition of BrightSpring Health Services, merging the company with PharMerica.

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