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1999: Nation's Top Seniors Housing Companies Hold Firm

The largest organizations in the seniors housing industry expanded their capacity modestly between 1998 and 1999, in part because of constrained availabil ity of capital. Well over three-fourths (88%) of the organizations appearing on the 1999 ASHA 25 ownership and management rosters were previously ranked, with each list including just three new companies.

Seniors Housing Owners THE LEADERS. For the sixth consecutive year, Colson & Colson/Holiday Retirement Corp. topped the list of largest seniors housing owners, with a domestic portfolio of 25,975 units in 216 properties. Although Colson & Colson/Holiday Retirement Corp. continues its international expansion, the privately held company also added 23 properties and 2,269 units to its U.S. holdings between July 1998 and July 1999.

Moving into the No. 2 position is Alterra (formerly known as Alternative Living Services), a publicly traded company with an ownership portfolio of 16,435 units in 274 properties. Since July 1997, Alterra has added more than 12,000 units to its owned portfolio through both development and acquisitions.

Health Care REIT Inc. holds the No. 3 position in the 1999 ASHA 25 owners list with a portfolio of 11,301 units in 138 properties. Including Alterra, there are several companies in this year's ASHA 25 roster whose increased holdings reflect the trend of consolidation among industry operators. Among these firms are Atria (No. 4), Senior Lifestyle Corp. (No. 6) and Sunrise Assisted Living Inc. (No. 11).

Since 1995, the ASHA 25 ownership rankings have included several health care REITs. In 1999, 20% of the list are health care REITs, including Health Care REIT (No. 3), Nationwide Health Properties (No. 5), Health Care Property Investors (No. 9), Meditrust Corp. (No. 12) and HRPT Properties Trust (No. 15).

OWNERSHIP STATUS. Another trend in this year's ASHA 25 is the continued growth of publicly owned seniors housing firms. Slightly more than half (52%) of the ASHA 25 owners are public entities, and 80% of the 10 largest owners are publicly traded. These public companies include the following: Alterra; Health Care REIT; Nationwide Health Properties Inc.; Grand Court Lifestyles Inc.; Crestline Capital Corp. (formerly Host Marriott Corp.); Health Care Property Investors; Assisted Living Concepts; Sunrise Assisted Living Inc.; Meditrust; HRPT Properties Trust; Marriott Senior Living Services; Sun Bridge Assisted Living; and American Retirement Corp.

For profit, but privately held seniors housing owners comprise another 32% of ASHA 25 owners and include the following: Colson & Colson/Holiday Retirement Corp.; Atria; Senior Lifestyle Corp.; Senior Campus Living LLC; First Centrum LLC; Classic Residence by Hyatt/Encore Senior Living; The Fountains; and Leisure Care Inc.

The remaining ASHA 25 owners (16%) are not-for-profit organizations, including ACTS Retirement-Life Communities Inc.; Covenant Retirement Communities; National Benevolent Association; and Retirement Housing Foundation.

THE NEWCOMERS. Three companies broke into the ASHA 25 owners list this year: Assisted Living Concepts (No. 10), Classic Residence by Hyatt/Encore Senior Living (No. 18) and Retirement Housing Foundation (No. 25). Retirement Housing Foundation appeared on the ASHA 25 ownership roster in 1994 to 1997, but did not qualify last year.

Ownership Growth Profile. In the aggregate, the ASHA 25 owner portfolio grew by 3.8% between 1998 and 1999, by far the smallest percentage increase since the initiation of the ASHA 25 rankings in 1994. It would appear, however, that this finding is largely a reflection of ASHA's efforts to minimize the double-counting of units. As a result of this methodological change, three companies that had appeared in the top 10 of the 1998 ASHA 25 owner rankings did not qualify for this year's owner list. Despite this year's modest growth, the combined portfolio holdings of ASHA 25 firms have grown by 113% since 1994. Growth within the largest 10 owners was 7.2% between 1998 and 1999 and 114% since 1994.

The total number of units within the ASHA 25 ownership portfolio more than doubled in the past six years - from 87,705 units in 1994 to 187,235 units in 1999. The mean portfolio size of ASHA 25 owners also has more than doubled since the first ASHA 25 ranking was compiled, from 3,508 units in 1994 to 7,489 units currently.

Seniors Housing Managers THE LEADERS. Colson & Colson/Holiday Retirement Corp. also tops the list of largest seniors housing managers, with a managed portfolio of 26,400 units in 220 properties. Colson & Colson/Holiday Retirement Corp. has been the largest U.S. seniors housing manager in every year the ASHA 25 has been compiled.

Marriott Senior Living Services jumped from No. 3 to the No. 2 spot in the ASHA 25 managers roster with 22,683 units in 128 properties. Between 1998 and 1999, Marriott increased its managed portfolio by 23% (4,283 units in 33 properties). Professional Community Management is No. 3 in the 1999 ASHA 25 managers list with 22,680 managed units in nine properties.

Coming in at No. 4 on the list is Life Care Services Corp., which manages 17,572 units in 64 properties. The largest increase in managed units between 1998 and 1999 (among firms ranked in both years) was posted by Atria (No. 6), which more than doubled its units under management from 5,429 in 1998 to 12,114 in 1999.

MANAGEMENT STATUS. Over half (52%) of firms appearing in this year's ASHA 25 management list are public companies, including Marriott Senior Living Services; Alterra; American Retirement Corp.; Emeritus Corp.; Sunrise Assisted Living Inc.; Grand Court Lifestyles Inc.; ARV Assisted Living; Assisted Living Concepts; CareMatrix Corp.; Brookdale Living Communities Inc.; Sun Bridge Assisted Living; Capital Senior Living Corp.; and Balanced Care Corp.

More than one-third (44%) of the ASHA 25 managers are privately held companies. This year's ASHA 25 managers roster includes just one not-for-profit seniors housing organization, ACTS Retirement-Life Communities Inc. (No. 17).

NEWCOMERS. As with the ASHA 25 owners list, the vast majority (88%) of firms appearing in this year's ASHA 25 management list appeared in the 1998 rankings. Newcomers include the following: Classic Residence by Hyatt/Encore Senior Living (No. 19); Brookdale Living Communities Inc. (No. 21); and Balanced Care Corp. (No. 24).

MANAGEMENT GROWTH PROFILE. The management portfolio of the ASHA 25 paints a picture of steady growth between 1998 and 1999. The top 10 firms managed portfolios in 1999 that are 17% larger than the previous year, while the top 25 management portfolio grew by 18.9%.

The total number of units within the ASHA 25 management portfolio increased 18.9% from 203,652 units in 1998 to 242,105 units in 1999. Since 1994, the number of units managed by the ASHA 25 managers has more than doubled, from 115,125 units in the inaugural ASHA 25 ranking. The mean management portfolio size of ASHA 25 companies has increased from 4,605 units in 1994 to 9,684 in 1999.

Specialists In total, 15 firms appear on both the ASHA 25 owners list and the ASHA 25 managers ranking. Health Care REIT Inc., Nationwide Health Properties Inc., Crestline Capital Corp., and Health Care Property Investors Inc. are among the 10 largest owners that do not manage. Professional Community Management, Life Care Services Corp., Emeritus Corp., ARV Assisted Living; Greystone Communities Inc., CareMatrix Corp., Cooperative Retirement Services of America (CRSA), Brookdale Living Communities Inc., Capital Senior Living Inc., and Balanced Care Corp. are among the largest managers, but do not qualify for the ASHA 25 ownership list.

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