Welltower, Ventas, Columbia Pacific Reportedly Pursuing $3 Billion UK Care Homes Group

Three major players in the U.S. senior housing industry are rumored to be interested in acquiring a London-based firm with more than 200 care homes in the United Kingdom. The U.K. company, Barchester Healthcare, was put up for sale in June for a sale price of at least £2.5 billion, or roughly $3.1 billion.

Two real estate investment trusts (REITs) — Toledo, Ohio-based Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL), Chicago-based Ventas (NYSE: VTR) — and Seattle-based investment firm Columbia Pacific Advisors are among the companies circling Barchester, according to an initial report from mergers and acquisitions site Betaville that was later echoed by the Irish Times.

U.S. investment bank JP Morgan is shopping the company around to a lineup of different potential buyers, Betaville further reported.

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It’s unclear how serious any of the three U.S. companies are in acquiring Barchester, however. Columbia Pacific Advisors declined to comment to Senior Housing News, while Ventas and Welltower did not return a request for comment as of press time.

But such a move could make sense for the senior housing firms, all of which do at least some business in the U.K.

Welltower lists 111 senior housing and outpatient medical facilities in the U.K. in recent investment documents. Ventas has a smattering of communities in London and a handful of hospitals in the UK, according to its website. But the REIT is bullish on the U.K. senior housing market and is actively looking to expand there, Senior Investment Officer Carrie Hiebeler told SHN last year.

Columbia Pacific, meanwhile, has been on an acquisition streak, including the 2017 purchase of a 79-property U.S. senior housing portfolio in a deal reportedly totaling about $2 billion.

And this wouldn’t be the first time Welltower or Ventas has shown interest in Barchester, either. The companies circled Barchester back in 2013 when it was refinancing its debt, according to the Irish Times.

Written by Tim Regan

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