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Beverly Enterprises to be Bought

The deal is valued at about $1.4 billion.
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Nursing facilities owner

Beverly Enterprises


agreed to be acquired by North American Senior Care for $12.80 a share, a price that's actually below the target company's last regular-session closing price.

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Shareholders responded by sending shares of Beverly down 49 cents, or 3.8%, to $12.45 in premarket trading. Beverly's 52-week trading range is $7.01 to $13.18, and the stock ended Tuesday at $12.94.

The deal values Beverly at about $1.4 billion. Including debt, the transaction would be worth around $1.9 billion. Beverly's board approved the transaction after the conclusion of an auction process that began last March.

North American Senior Care was formed specifically to undertake the transaction. The participants with North American in the takeover have experience buying and financing health care providers, including the 2004 acquisition of Mariner Health Care.

Beverly, based in Fort Smith, Ark., provides health care services to the elderly in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers and hospice and home care centers.