Fortress Investment Group Raises Position In Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (BKD)

Michael Novogratz’s Fortress Investment Group, in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, reported a position in Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD). According to the filing, the fund currently owns 20.29 million shares of the company, up from 17.59 million shares held at the end of the fourth quarter of last year. The new position amasses 16.3% of the company’s common stock.

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Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD) is an owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The company currently operates independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, with more than 650 communities in 36 states and the ability to serve over 67,000 residents.

Recently Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE: BKD) entered into an agreement to buy Emeritus Corporation (NYSE:ESC) and, through the merger, create the first national senior living solutions company. Under the terms of the agreement, Emeritus Corporation (NYSE:ESC) shareholders will receive 0.95 shares of Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE: BKD) common stock in exchange for each share of their Emeritus Corporation (NYSE:ESC) common stock. Based on the closing price of each company’s common stock on February 19, 2014, this exchange ratio implies a 32% premium on Emeritus Corporation (NYSE:ESC) shares. The transaction value totals $2.8 billion, with the inclusion of $1.4 billion of Emeritus Corporation (NYSE:ESC) mortgage debt. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

Fortress Investment began as a private equity firm in 1998. It was founded by Wesley R. Edens, a former partner at BlackRock Financial; Robert Kauffman, a managing director of UBS; and, Randal A. Nardone, also a managing director of UBS. Fortress Investment’s private equity funds netted 39.7% between 1999 and 2006. Michael Novogratz and Pete Briger, both former partners at Goldman Sachs, were brought in four years later to run Fortress Investment’s hedge funds, as well as its new real estate-related investments and debt securities.

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