Ventas Increases Credit Facility to $850M

Ventas Realty L.P., a subsidiary of leading healthcare REIT Ventas Inc., has entered into revised unsecured credit facilities. The move raises the company’s total borrowing capacity to $850 million and an option to expand that capacity to $1 billion  Ventas last altered an unsecured credit facility in July 2007, bringing its borrowing limit up to an aggregate $750 million. Terms of the newly revised credit facilities, which mature in April 2009, also provide Ventas with an optional one-year extension. Additionally, a total of $150 million of the borrowing capacity is being made accessible in either U.S. or Canadian dollars. While the company has not offered specifics regarding plans for the additional funds, the option to borrow in Canadian dollars could allow for Ventas to further expand its presence in Canada, a market the REIT first entered with the closing of its nearly $2 billion acquisition of Toronto-based Sunrise Senior Living Real Estate Investment Trust last April. The deal added 77 high-quality senior housing communities to Ventas’s portfolio, including 11 in Canada. The U.S. seniors housing sector is strong and, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, is expected to grow even stronger as demand increases due in no small part to the large population of aging baby boomers. Unlike some other real estate sectors, seniors housing, from independent living properties to dementia care, is still faring well despite the credit crunch and sagging economy.  Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., Ventas has a portfolio of approximately 520 healthcare-related properties located in 43 states and two Canadian provinces. The REIT has a total enterprise value of over $9 billion, and equity market capitalization exceeding $6 billion. Company stock closed yesterday at $42.99.