Battle over Beverly leads to showdown

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Spurned by the rejection of its $1.5 billion bid for Beverly Enterprises Inc., a powerful group of investors is attempting a hostile take over of the nursing home giant. Formation Capital LLC Chief Executive Arnold Whitman said his group only became "aggressive" after Beverly CEO William Floyd refused numerous requests to discuss a possible sale and Beverly's board adopted a "poison pill" strategy in January to prevent unwanted advances.

Formation nominated alternate directors for Beverly's board just prior to a Feb. 5 deadline. A pivotal board member election will take place at Beverly's April 21 annual meeting.
Whitman told McKnight's Long-Term Care News that his group plans to split up Beverly's 351 nursing homes into five or six regional private entities. Formation bought 53 Florida facilities from Beverly in January 2002 and has seen them flourish since, he said.
"The nursing home business operates better and more efficiently, and there's better delivery of care, on a regional basis," Whitman said. He called the current corporate model at Beverly a "dinosaur."