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Emeritus Assuming Operations of 38 Merrill Gardens Communities -- Transaction Brings Important Benefits to Both Companies -Seattle, Wash. – June 27, 2013 – Seattle-based Emeritus Senior Living is assuming operations of 38 senior living communities from Merrill Gardens, also headquartered in Seattle. These communities are located in eight states across the country, with the majority operating in California (16) and Washington (14). The transaction will add over 4,400 apartments to the Emeritus portfolio. Emeritus intends to retain Merrill Gardens’ community employees in the transaction, which is anticipated to close in the next few months. The move will build Emeritus’ continuum of care; for Merrill Gardens, it provides greater nimbleness of operations for future innovation and development. Emeritus is the nation’s largest assisted living and memory care provider, with a workforce of more than 30,000 and the ability to serve nearly 50,000 residents in 45 states. Completion of the Merrill Gardens transaction will increase the number of senior living communities Emeritus operates nationally to more than 500. Merrill Gardens will then have 26 operating and development communities in six states in their portfolio. The company plans to continue to develop four to five communities per year in select markets. Final closing of this transaction is subject to customary closing conditions for acquisitions of this nature, including regulatory approvals. By coupling Emeritus’ award-winning assisted living expertise with Merrill Gardens’ nationally-known predominantly independent living operating model, Emeritus is building the continuum of care that the rapidly-growing senior population is seeking. “Merrill Gardens is renowned for its exceptional quality,” said Emeritus President and CEO Granger Cobb. “This transaction is the ideal way to expand our independent living options for seniors by bringing aboard high-quality communities and an experienced, dedicated team of senior living employees.” Currently, just 11% of Emeritus’ senior living apartments nationally are operated as independent living.
“As the older population grows, we must offer a variety of options to best serve seniors and their families – these options encompass a continuum of services to accommodate care needs as they change over time,” Cobb said. “Expanding our independent living offerings complements our well-established assisted living, memory care and home healthcare services. It enables us to better meet the evolving needs and desires of this growing group of people.” The transaction materialized in part from a series of conversations between Cobb and Merrill Gardens President Bill Pettit, who, for the past two years, taught a course together on senior living management at the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management. “Throughout Merrill Gardens 20 years of operations, we have been approached many times by companies wishing to execute a purchase. We believe this is the right time to make this change and that Emeritus is the right operator for the 38 communities,” said Pettit. Currently, Health Care REIT, Inc. (HCN) owns 80% of the equity in the 38 communities; Merrill Gardens owns 20% and manages the properties. Upon the completion of this transaction, HCN will purchase Merrill Gardens’ ownership interest and will lease the communities to Emeritus under a master lease agreement. For Merrill Gardens, the change provides a more nimble operating model and will allow it to capitalize on its current industry leadership position by innovating new lifestyle offerings for senior residents. The company plans to immediately invest in strengthening its operating platform through technology enhancements aimed at enriching the senior living experience. The professional growth of team members will also be a priority as the company moves to a model of operations that empowers the community teams. “The values of Emeritus are in sync with ours and this will be a seamless transition for the residents and team members,” Pettit said. Cobb said: “We are extremely excited about the Merrill Gardens residents, families and employees joining our Emeritus family. With our ‘Safely Somewhere’ philosophy, we also look forward to being of service to more seniors across the country.”
Emeritus “Safely Somewhere” philosophy reflects the company’s commitment to serving all seniors, whether they reside at Emeritus or elsewhere. Examples include Home Visits, in which Emeritus professionals visit seniors in their homes, at no charge, to check on their well-being and safety, conduct evaluations, provide referrals to appropriate community resources and offer friendly companionship. Emeritus conducted over 70,000 visits companywide in the one-year period ending May 2013. Emeritus also delivered 10,000 free meals to seniors across the country during a 60-day period this past spring in response to the issue of malnutrition among the elderly. Other seasonal programs include helping shovel local seniors’ sidewalks in the winter and providing them with coolers of water and hydrating foods in the summer.
About Emeritus Senior Living Emeritus Senior Living is the nation’s largest assisted living and memory care provider, with the ability to serve nearly 50,000 residents. Over 30,000 employees support nearly 480 communities throughout 45 states coast to coast. Emeritus offers the spectrum of senior residential choices, care options and life enrichment programs that fulfill individual needs and promote purposeful living throughout the aging process. Its experts provide insights on senior living, care, wellness, brain health, caregiving and family topics at www.Emeritus.com, which also offers details on the organization’s services. Emeritus’ common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ESC.
About Merrill Gardens Merrill Gardens is a top owner/operator of independent and assisted living retirement communities. The company consists of 26 communities in six states with the capacity to serve over 5000 residents. The management and resources of the Seattle, Washington based company ensure high standards of service and a long-term commitment to lifestyle, quality, security and privacy in all Merrill Gardens communities. Merrill Gardens is a family-owned, private company that started with one community in 1993. The company is built on a strong foundation of family, community and entrepreneurial spirit. For more information visit merrillgardens.com or facebook.com/merrillgardens.
“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: A number of the matters and subject areas discussed in this report that are not historical or current facts deal with potential future circumstances, operations, and prospects. The discussion of such matters and subject areas is qualified by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally, and also may materially differ from our actual future experience as a result of such factors as: the satisfaction of the conditions to the closing of the transactions, including obtaining and maintaining required regulatory approvals; and the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the transaction. We have attempted to identify, in context, certain of the factors that we currently believe may cause actual future experience and results to differ from our current expectations regarding the relevant matter or subject area. These and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 filed with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to update the information provided herein.
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