Private Equity Giant KKR Is Benchmark’s New Capital Partner

Global investment firm KKR (NYSE: KKR) is the new financial partner for Waltham, Massachusetts-based senior living provider Benchmark.

At the end of July, real estate investment trust Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) announced that it had disposed of its ownership interest in Benchmark for a gross sale price of $1.8 billion. At that time, Welltower and Benchmark did not disclose who had invested in Benchmark’s 48-property portfolio. On Tuesday, Benchmark identified KKR in a statement emailed to Senior Housing News.

“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,” a Benchmark spokesperson said in the 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.”

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No further details about future plans are available at this time, the spokesperson told SHN.

KKR did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

New York City-based KKR had nearly $200 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2019 — and the firm is no stranger to senior housing. Its first real estate fund made substantial investments in senior housing, and led the buyer group that took McLean, Virginia-based Sunrise Senior Living private in 2013. KKR sold its stake in Sunrise in 2014.

In early 2018, KKR closed a $2 billion real estate fund intended to purchase value-add or opportunistic properties, including in senior housing.

KKR has holdings in other parts of the health care continuum, as well. In a deal completed earlier this year, Louisville-based home care giant BrightSpring Health Services merged with long-term care pharmacy PharMerica under the ownership of KKR, with Walgreens Boots Alliance holding a minority stake. KKR purchased BrightSpring for about $1.32 billion. And KKR’s $9.9 billion acquisition of Nashville, Tennessee-based doctor staffing company Envision Healthcare Corporation was one of the largest private equity deals in health care for 2018.

As for Benchmark, the company earlier this year announced the formation of a new Wellness Management division that would be focused on developing urban communities, under the leadership of President and COO Denise McQuaide. The division’s first project is going up in Philadelphia.

Benchmark also entered a new state by opening its first property in New York in 2018.

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