National Senior Care buys nursing home giant Mariner Health Care

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Nursing home giant Mariner Health Care has been bought by National Senior Care Inc. in a $1 billion deal, including $615 million in cash.

NSC was formed specifically for the acquisition and controls more than 50 long-term care facilities throughout the country, concentrated in Texas and the Carolinas.

Mariner shareholders will receive $30 in cash for each share of the company's common stock, a premium of 49% based on Monday's closing price of $20.10. Mariner shares rose $7.90 to $28 on the over-the-counter bulletin board on Tuesday

While Mariner's stockholders still need to approve the transaction, the deal is expected to close fourth quarter 2004, according to Reuters. 

Atlanta, GA-based Mariner operates 263 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities and 11 long-term acute care hospitals across the United States.