Hong Kong company gains 5.11% stake in Brookdale Senior Living

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Hong Kong-based Fosun International Limited now has a 5.11% stake in Brookdale Senior Living, the Brentwood, TN, headquarters of which is pictured here.
Hong Kong-based Fosun International Limited now has a 5.11% stake in Brookdale Senior Living, the Brentwood, TN, headquarters of which is pictured here.

Hong Kong-based Fosun International Limited now has a 5.11% stake in Brookdale Senior Living, the company said in a Friday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The “aggressive” foreign conglomerate was one entity “at the heart of the crackdown on China's overseas deal spree” that may have contributed to the end of negotiations by another Chinese company to acquire Brookdale, the Financial Times reported last year.

Fosun now owns more than 9.5 million shares of the common stock of the largest senior living operator in the United States.

Two Fosun subsidiaries, Portugal-based Fidelidade-Companhia de Seguros and Hong Kong-based Peak Reinsurance Company Limited, also have an interest in Brentwood, TN-based Brookdale, according to the SEC filing. Fidelidade now has more than 1 million shares, and Peak Reinsurance has 100,000 shares.

Last month, Brookdale announced that it had concluded its strategic review process and had rejected a bid to be acquired for $9 per share. Brookdale did not publicly name the bidder.

“The board did not believe this indication of interest was acceptable given the board's view of the value of the company and its assets and the board's belief that the company can ultimately create more value for shareholders by executing a turnaround strategy as a public company under new leadership,” the company said in a press release at the time. “As a result, the board has concluded the formal strategic review process but remains committed to continuously evaluating all opportunities to enhance shareholder value.”

At the same time, Brookdale announced that Chief Financial Officer Cindy Baier would be replacing Andy Smith as president, CEO and board member and that Daniel Decker, executive chairman of the board, would be leaving his position and would be replaced by Lee S. Wielansky as non-executive chairman. The departures of Bryan Richardson, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, and board member William G. Petty Jr., co-founder and partner of private equity management firm Beecken Petty O'Keefe & Co., also were announced at that time.

The strategic review process had begun in February 2017. When the process was declared over, Baier told McKnight's Senior Living that Brookdale's board had “looked at the full range of strategic alternatives,” although she said she couldn't provide details. “Let's just say that they explored a number of options and a wide variety of options,” Baier said.

In October, Bloomberg had reported that negotiations by Chinese real estate development and holding company Zhonghong Zhuoye Group Co Ltd. to purchase the company had ended without a deal. The Beijing-based company allegedly was prepared to pay $20 per share for the company's stock.

Reuters had first reported Zhonghong Group's supposed interest in Brookdale in June, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Reuters quoted a purchase price of approximately $3 billion.

In August, the Financial Times had reported that talks related to the potential acquisition had stalled because Chinese regulatory officials were more carefully scrutinizing overseas investments and financial institutions were taking a more conservative approach to assessing credit risks. “Four aggressive Chinese conglomerates — HNA, Fosun, Dalian Wanda and Anbang Insurance — have been at the heart of the crackdown on China's overseas deal spree,” the media outlet reported at the time.

Blackstone Group and real estate investment trust Ventas also were reported to be interested in buying some or all Brookdale at one point, although Ventas refuted that assertion.

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