Ventas Rises After Reaching Ardent Deal With Equity Group

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Ventas Inc. shares rose after the real estate investment trust agreed to sell the majority of Ardent Health Services’ hospital operations to Equity Group Investments.

The transaction values the operations company at about $475 million, Chicago-based Ventas said Tuesday in a statement. Ventas announced in April that it planned to buy Ardent for $1.75 billion in cash, retain its 10 hospital properties and sell its hospital operations. Ventas will continue to own 9.9 percent of the operations company.

Because Ventas is structured as a REIT, only a limited amount of the company’s assets may be outside real estate, said Jeffrey Langbaum, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. For the previously announced Ardent deal to be successful, Ventas had to find a buyer for the hospital operations, he said.

“There was potential overhang from the possibility they would not be able to sell the operator,” Langbaum said. “This sale eliminates that risk.”

Ventas rose 2.5 percent to $64.39, the company’s biggest increase in three months.

Both the Ventas acquisition of Ardent and the transaction with Equity Group are scheduled for completion this quarter, Ventas said.

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