Aegis Living, with its joint venture partner Blue Moon Capital Partners, acquired 10 assisted living and memory care communities from Healthpeak Properties (NYSE: PEAK) for about $350 million. Aegis currently operates the communities and will continue to do so going forward.
The deal, totaling 702 units, is the largest in Aegis’ 24-year history and continues a shift toward owning its properties outright, President Kris Engskov told Senior Housing News.
The Bellevue, Washington-based operator now owns 23 of its 32 communities, and has a pipeline of eight communities under development, with three set to open later this year.
The transaction also moves Healthpeak closer to its goal of disposing of most of its senior housing operating portfolio (SHOP) and triple-net senior housing assets.
The Denver-based health care real estate investment trust (REIT) announced plans last November to sell up to $4 billion in SHOP and triple-net properties, and restructure its blended portfolio to focus on continuing care retirement communities, life science and medical office buildings.
The communities included in the transaction are in urban markets with high barriers to entry and include:
- Aegis Living Callahan House, Shoreline, Washington
- Aegis Living Shoreline, Shoreline, Washington
- Aegis Living Kirkland, Kirkland, Washington
- Aegis Living Las Vegas, Las Vegas
- Aegis Living Dana Point, Dana Point, California
- Aegis Living Fremont, Fremont, California
- Aegis Living Granada Hills, Granada Hills, California
- Aegis Living San Francisco, San Francisco
- Aegis Living Pleasant Hills, Pleasant Hills, California
- Aegis Living Ventura, Ventura, California
The occupancy rate across the 10 communities is in the high 80% range, Aegis confirmed in an email to SHN.
Discussions of a potential sale lasted around six months, and Aegis knew that it had the right partner to pull off the deal in Blue Moon, a Boston-based private equity firm which entered a joint venture agreement with Aegis in December 2018.
“We have very aligned goals around how we want to operate and how we want to invest in communities over time,” Engskov said.
Blue Moon Co-Founder and Managing Partner Kathryn Sweeney praised Aegis for its innovative approach even in the midst of the pandemic. Given its presence in the Seattle market, Aegis was one of the first senior living providers to confront Covid-19, and it has pursued a variety of initiatives in response, including establishing a coronavirus advisory council and introducing “outdoor living rooms” for visitation.
“Their energy, passion, and skill have met the Covid-19 challenges presented this past year for the benefit of residents, families, staff and investors,” Sweeney said in a press release issued Tuesday. “We are excited to partner with Aegis and support their initiatives in the years ahead.”
Aegis aims to acquire more of its properties that are currently under lease, although Engskov allowed that the operator will not own all of its properties outright.
The 10 properties being acquired all have been well maintained, and there is no need for immediate substantial CapEx improvements, according to Engskov. In the short term, the company’s focus is on maintaining the safety of its residents as the coronavirus pandemic persists, and vaccinating all staff and residents. The operator is making progress on that, and Engskov believes that owning more of its properties will allow it to strengthen its commitment to residents, as the owner-operator model eliminates risk of friction or competing priorities between stakeholders.
Furthermore, he believes that Covid-19 has shown that senior living is part of the overall health care continuum, and Aegis wants the flexibility to contribute to positive resident outcomes in a post-pandemic landscape.
“There are so many more things that we can access now to make us even better at what we do,” he said. “That is exciting to us, because we’re going to be able to attract a lot more people to the industry because of the mission.”
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