Emeritus pushes assisted-living purchases to $1.5 billion over last 18 months

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Emeritus Corp., the second-largest assisted living operator in the United States, has announced it will purchase 29 communities, comprising more than 2,200 units.

The Seattle-based company had 29,522 units in December, second only to Sunrise Senior Living's 36,500, in a list released this month by the American Health Care Association. The deal, which involves properties scattered throughout the country, will cap a $1.5 billion buying spree over the last year and a half, the company said.

"This acquisition dovetails with our long-term strategy by giving us ownership control over our properties, lowering our long-term financing costs, and allowing us to more fully benefit from increased value we create in these communities," stated Dan Baty, one of the company's co-CEOs. The deal will raise the number of company owned facilities to 160, or more than 60% of the firm's overall holdings.