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Highgate Capital, Aurora Health to Buy 300-Property Healthcare Portfolio in Deal Valued at $3.2B

Northstar-Sarasota

The $3.2 billion transaction includes DigitalBridge’s equity interest in and management of its sponsored, non-traded REIT, NorthStar Healthcare Income Inc. NorthStar’s portfolio includes The Fountains at Lake Pointe in Sarasota, Fla. (Image courtesy of Google Street View © 2021)

BOCA RATON, FLA. — DigitalBridge (NYSE: DBRG) has agreed to sell its entire wellness portfolio, consisting of 300 seniors housing, skilled nursing, medical office and hospital properties, in a deal valued at $3.2 billion. The buyers are Highgate Capital Investments and Aurora Health Network.

Before announcing its rebrand to DigitalBridge in June, the Boca Raton-based real estate investment trust (REIT) was formerly known as Colony Capital. The sale is the final step of the company’s conversion of its portfolio to all digital infrastructure properties, such as cell towers and data centers.

The $3.2 billion includes $226 million in cash, a $90 million seller note and the assumption of $2.9 billion in debt.

“Having completed our digital transformation in less than two years, this final step will allow us to emerge as the pure-play, fast-growing digital infrastructure REIT we envisioned from day one,” says Marc Ganzi, president and CEO of DigitalBridge.

The portfolio includes DigitalBridge’s equity interest in and management of its sponsored, non-traded REIT, NorthStar Healthcare Income Inc. The company merged with NorthStar in 2016, with the combined REIT valued at a total capitalization of $17 billion at that time.

The sale is expected to close in early 2022, subject to closing conditions and third-party approvals. 

Barclays served as financial advisor to DigitalBridge in connection with the transaction and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal counsel. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. served as financial advisor to Highgate and Aurora and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel.

DigitalBridge manages a $35 billion portfolio of digital infrastructure assets on behalf of limited partners and shareholders. The company’s stock closed at $6.67 on Wed., Sept. 8, up from $2.65 on the same date last year. 

Highgate is a leading real estate investment and hospitality management company with over $15 billion of assets under management. The company also acquired DigitalBridge’s hospitality portfolios in fall 2020. 

New York City-based Aurora Health Network is a healthcare-focused investment firm managing facilities throughout the United States.

Jeff Shaw and Katie Sloan

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