Manor Care Inc. announced yesterday that it had completed the purchase of 11 retirement homes and skilled nursing facilities, making it the third-largest provider of assisted living in the country.
The Silver Spring-based company said it paid competitor Beverly Enterprises Inc. $74.3 million for facilities in California, Illinois, Ohio and Florida.
With the acquisition of the six new retirement centers and five nursing homes, Manor Care said it now owns a total of 193 facilities with 25,532 beds in 28 states.
And it now has 23 "assisted living centers," which are retirement homes offering some housekeeping and personal help to the elderly.
Manor Care said it paid $21.5 million in cash and assumed $52.8 million in debt to buy the facilities.
The purchase, which had been previously announced, was hailed by analysts yesterday who said Manor Care has profited handsomely from its strategy of buying up competitors' facilities and pursuing high-profit niches such as assisted living, and retirement homes for the affluent.
"They do buy at good prices," said Clifford A. Hewitt, who follows the nursing home industry for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York.
Mr. Hewitt said he expects Manor Care and its competitors to keep buying up facilities as a part of an industrywide consolidation drive.
Although the buying spree is likely to drive prices for nursing homes up, Manor Care should continue to do well, he said.
Manor Care, which has seen its annual net profits nearly triple since 1991, reported earning $28.4 million on sales of $373.4 million in its first quarter.
Manor Care's shares yesterday closed at $33.63, down 63 cents from Friday's close.