Kindred, Ventas inch closer to agreement in rent battle

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Kindred Healthcare Inc. and its landlord Ventas Inc. may be just months away from resolving their rent dispute.

The companies have agreed on the selection of two appraisers who will make a fair market determination under four master leases. The two appraisers could complete their evaluation by early October. Then, Ventas must decide within 30 days whether to opt in to the new rent and escalation schedule or retain its current schedule with a 3.5% annual rent escalation.

Kindred, a major nursing home chain, and Ventas, a real estate investment trust, have been at odds since Ventas informed Kindred in May it was planning to substantially hike its rent.

In related news, Kindred disclosed it is planning to acquire 11 nursing centers that it leases from Health Care Property Investors Inc. It then plans to dispose of them as soon as possible. Kindred also agreed to a sale and leaseback transaction with HCP with respect to three hospitals owned by Kindred.