VentasInc.-backed hospital operator Ardent Health Services agreed toacquire LHP Hospital Group Inc. for undisclosed terms.
The deal calls for Ardent to assume LHP's management andoperational obligations within five acute care hospitals in Florida, Idaho, NewJersey and Texas that the latter operates with joint venture partners. Thehospitals would add to Ardent's current portfolio of 14 hospitals across three healthsystems.
The merger deal is expected to expand Ardent's operations by50% and create the second-largest U.S. private, for-profit hospital operator,with 19 hospitals spanning six states and $3 billion in revenues.
To complete the acquisition, Ventas committed to provide$700 million in secured debt financing to an Ardent subsidiary. Ardent'smajority owner, an Equity Group Investments affiliate, is also injecting a"significant equity contribution" into the hospital operator.
The Ventas financing comes in the form of a LIBOR-based loanwith a five-year term and a roughly 8% initial interest rate. The loan isexpected to be accretive to Ventas' normalized funds from operations for 2017on a leverage-neutral basis. Ventas will use proceeds of asset sales and loanrepayments, cash on hand, and other capital sources to fund the transaction.
Aided by LHP executives, Ardent's management team willcontinue to oversee the company after the deal's closing, scheduled for early2017.
Ventas holds a 9.9% equity stake in Ardent and ownssubstantially all of the latter's real estate, including 10 of its 14 hospitalsand associated medical facilities. It co-owns the hospital operator with anEquity Group affiliate and Ardent's management.
Citigroup was LHP's exclusive financial adviser in thetransaction.