**SPECIAL UPDATE** Beverly sold to North American Senior Care for $1.9 billion

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Nursing home giant Beverly Enterprises Inc. announced this morning that it had agreed to be bought by North American Senior Care for $1.9 billion in cash.

North American Senior Care is a group specially formed for such large transactions. It also was involved in last year's private purchase of Mariner Health Care.
The Beverly sale price equates to $12.80 a share, significantly higher than the $11.50 offered by Formation Capital in its hostile takeover attempt earlier this year. Formation's bid ultimately forced Beverly management to put the chain up for auction in March.
Beverly said 10 of 47 firms it contacted ultimately made initial bids for the company, which includes 345 nursing homes, as well as assisted living centers and affiliated hospice, therapy and design businesses. It formally changed its name from Beverly to BEI earlier this year.
"We intend to keep (Beverly's) headquarters and support functions in Fort Smith (Arkansas) and to retain (Beverly's) eldercare service businesses," said North American spokesman Leonard Grunstein in a news release.