The CEO of Sunrise Senior Living (NYSE:SRZ) appeared on a segment of CNBC’s Mad Money following the acquisition of his company by Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN), and host Jim Cramer hailed the executive as the “King of the Comeback.”
“There are still some terrific executives out there who are working their butts off 24/7 to create value for their shareholders like you,” Cramer said, before reminding viewers of the senior living provider’s plight about 4-1/2 years ago when “it looked like Sunrise might have to be sent off to an assisted living center itself.”
At that point, the company was “crushed under its debt-laiden balance sheet” with a stock trading at just 27 cents, Cramer said.
“But one of the great turnaround artists in the business… got Sunrise back on track,” he continued, referencing Sunrise CEO Mark Ordan.
The last time Ordan appeared on Mad Money, the stock was at $6.84, and the executive had hopes for a favorable turn. Sure enough, HCN’s purchase of Sunrise for $14.50 a share represented a 62% premium above what it had traded at the day before, and a 112% gain from Ordan’s previous appearance.
“There are companies like Sunrise that have such an unassailable brand that have been honed for 30 years, in a demogrpahic that has no compare, and that in itself is a real asset,” Ordan said on the show. “When you have something that has such staying power, and you combine that with a team that’s going to work through the issues that you have when a company’s under the gun—that’s something that investors can find and grab on to.”
Sunrise’s balance sheet had been “horrendous,” Cramer said to Ordan, who responded that when there are problems on a balance sheet, the people on the other side generally want to work with the management to resolve those issues.
“What we have to do is work together as borrowers, lenders, capital partners, to add strength to the business,” Ordan said. “A business like ours has a very strong future because you’re really providing an absolutely essential need to people.”
View the entire Mad Money segment at CNBC.
Written by Alyssa Gerace