Los Angeles Business Journal

HCP Told To Pay Ventas in Acquisition Lawsuit

By Deborah Crowe Friday, September 4, 2009

Ventas Inc. said Friday that a jury awarded it more than $101 million in damages in its case against Long Beach real estate investment trust HCP Inc., which it accused of interfering with Ventas' effort to acquire another REIT.

Ventas, which is based in Chicago, accused HCP driving up the price it had to pay for Sunrise Senior Living in Ontario, Canada by making its own competing bid.

Ventas already had an agreement to buy Sunrise for $1.8 billion when HCP submitted a bid. Ventas eventually convinced a court to rule the bid invalid. HCP abandoned its effort and Ventas closed the deal in April 2007, but only after sweetening its bid by 10 percent.

"The damages awarded by the jury, at least in part, will help compensate Ventas for the injury caused by HCP," said Ventas Chief Executive Debra Cafaro in a statement.

In its own release, HCP noted that Ventas had asked for $300 million in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. HCP said it will appeal the verdict by the Louisville, Ky. Jury.

HCP closed up 2 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $26.64 after earlier dropping below $26.10.