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Nationwide Health Properties Being Bought for $7.4 Billion

Nationwide Health Properties Inc., a Newport Beach healthcare real estate investor, said Monday it’s being bought for $7.4 billion by Chicago-based Ventas Inc.

The deal is the largest in Orange County so far this year, and likely the largest ever here.

It tops Brea-based Beckman Coulter Inc.’s pending $6.8 billion sale to Danaher Corp., a Washington, D.C. conglomerate.

The Nationwide deal includes about $1.7 billion worth of debt. Excluding debt, the stock deal is worth $5.7 billion, or 15% more than what Nationwide was worth on Friday.

Ventas said in a release that the Nationwide buy, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter, will form the largest U.S. healthcare real estate owner.

The combined company, which will retain the Ventas name, will have more than 1,300 properties in 47 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces.

Debra Cafaro, Ventas’ chief executive, will lead the combined company, which will be based in Chicago.

Douglas Pasquale, Nationwide’s chief executive, will stay as a senior adviser and will have a seat on the new company’s board.

Ventas shareholders will own about 65% of the combined company when the deal’s completed, while Nationwide shareholders will have the remaining 35%, Ventas said.

One analyst suggested in a report that the Nationwide-Ventas deal could draw in other competing healthcare real estate investors, including Long Beach-based HCP Inc., which was previously based in Newport Beach.

“Culturally, the two companies appear to be a good fit. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if this gets a few third parties interested,” Richard Anderson of New York-based BMO Capital Markets said.

Nationwide shares were up 10% in midday New York trading Monday with a market value of $5.4 billion.

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