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Ventas Sells Centers To Pay Down Debt

Chicago-Health care real estate investment trust Ventas here has closed on the sale of four seniors housing units to affiliates of Benchmark Assisted Living for an aggregate sale price of $58.7 million. The assets are located in Massachusetts and contain 403 units.

According to Ventas, the purchase price represents an 8.5% capitalization rate on cash rent.

The sale was made pursuant to a purchase option that Benchmark held, which was in place prior to Ventas's ownership of the properties.

Prior to the sale, Benchmark was the tenant in these four.

Ventas expects to record a gain of $11 million on the sale.

Net cash proceeds to Ventas of $20 million will be used to pay down debt or for general corporate purposes. Benchmark assumed $38.8 million of existing mortgage debt in the transaction.

Additionally, the company expects to sell Samaritan Hospital in Lexington, Ky., to the University of Kentucky for $35 million in an all-cash transaction.

The company expects this transaction to close in the first quarter of 2009.

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