Emeritus to Lease 11 Seniors Housing Properties from HCP

Assisted living services provider Emeritus Corp. will soon bring a new group of seniors housing properties under its umbrella now that it has signed an agreement with affiliates of HCP Inc. to lease 11 communities accounting for an aggregate 1,462 units in six states from California to Massachusetts. The lease carries a 10-year term and allows Emeritus the option to acquire the assets during the period commencing with the close of the fifth year of the lease until its expiration. If the company decides to acquire the portfolio, the price tag will be a minimum $300 million. California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia are the locations of the communities involved in the deal. Spanning a range of seniors housing property types, the portfolio encompasses 969 assisted living units, 292 Alzheimer’s units, 180 skilled nursing beds and 21 independent living residential units. Emeritus will pay a total $17.5 million in rent the first year, and a fixed rate of $21 million, $25 million, $28 million and $30 million for years two through five, respectively. The 11 communities are in line to get a facelift, too. As per terms of the deal, Emeritus and HCP will each contribute $1.5 million every year for the first two years of the lease for the funding of capital improvements. However, before the lease agreement can be written in stone, hurdles will have to be overcome, including the due diligence process, facilitation of operations transfer agreements with current property operators, and approval of the lease by HCP’s present lender. Emeritus anticipates the transaction will close by the end of the fourth quarter of this year.Headquartered in Seattle, Emeritus provides assisted living and Alzheimer’s and related dementia care services to seniors across the country. The company is one of the largest operators of freestanding assisted living communities in the U.S., and currently operates 289 properties accounting for 24,800 units in 36 states. Long Beach, CA-based HCP is a REIT that invests predominately in healthcare industry-related real estate in the U.S. As of the close of the second quarter, the company’s portfolio consisted of 796 properties in the senior housing, skilled nursing, hospital, medical office and life sciences sectors. Earlier this month, HCP completed a $500 million offering of 14.95 million shares of common stock.