A judge in Ontario, Canada, has ruled that a $1.1 billion deal to take over Sunrise Senior Living Real Estate Investment Trust still stands, ruling outat least temporarilya later offer of $1.4 billion.
Sunrise REIT, which has 11 seniors homes in Canada and 63 in the U.S., must enforce a standstill agreement precluding the $1.4 billion offer from Health Care Property Investors, Superior Court Justice Sarah Pepall said in her decision.
HCP was involved in an auction for Sunrise REIT against Louisville, Ky.-based Ventas, another New York Stock Exchange-listed company, in which bids closed Jan. 8 with only the $1.1 billion Ventas offer, worth $15 per unit, on the table. HCP bowed out after signing a confidentiality agreement that included a provision that it would not bid for Sunrise assets outside the auction process for 18 months without the REIT's approval.
However, on Feb. 14, it presented its higher offer. The REIT went to court for a ruling on whether it could negotiate with HCP, although the Ventas bid was to be voted on by unitholders. After Tuesday's ruling, the date for that meeting was set at March 30.
The judge's decision means the Ventas offer will proceed, although HCP said in court it would leave its conditional offer open until after the unitholder vote, meaning investors could reject the Ventas bid in expectations of getting the higher price. -- by the Canadian Press via AP