Ventas to Buy Properties From Blackstone for $1.5 Billion

  • Deal includes life-science and medical properties from Wexford
  • REIT gets exclusive rights to co-develop future projects

Ventas Inc. agreed to acquire a group of medical and life-science properties from Blackstone Group LP for $1.5 billion, marking a foray into owning real estate affiliated with universities.

The real estate investment trust plans to buy substantially all of the life-science and medical properties of Wexford Science & Technology LLC, according to a statement Tuesday. Wexford -- a property-development firm focused on working with universities, academic medical centers and research companies -- had been part of BioMed Realty Trust, a REIT that Blackstone acquired in January for $4.8 billion.

Ventas’s purchase is composed of 23 properties and two development sites. Tenants include Yale University, Wake Forest University and Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. As part of the deal, the REIT is entering an agreement with Wexford that will give it exclusive rights to jointly develop future projects.

The transaction provides Ventas “a unique opportunity to capitalize on increasing health-care-driven research and development spurred and supported by top-tier research universities,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Debra Cafaro said in the statement. Wexford will continue to manage the properties.

Ventas, the second-largest U.S. health-care REIT by market value, owns about 1,300 properties across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., including senior-housing communities, medical office buildings and specialty hospitals. The deal marks the Chicago-based company’s entry into the business of owning life-science real estate tied to universities, according to the statement.

Ventas said in a separate statement that it will sell 9 million shares to help fund the purchase. The company’s stock has jumped 31 percent this year, compared with a 14 percent gain in the Bloomberg REIT health-care index.

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