A nasty court battle between two big health care real estate investment trusts ended Sept. 4 when a Louisville federal jury ordered HCP Inc. to pay Ventas Inc. $101 million for interfering with its purchase of a Canadian operator of assisted living facilities.

The fight dates to 2007, when Ventas agreed to purchase Sunrise Senior Living, also a REIT, for $1.8 billion — $15 a share — pending shareholder approval. A month later, rival bidder HCP issued a press release offering to pay $18 a share for the company. Following the press release, the price of Sunrise stock soared. Ventas eventually paid $16.50 for Sunrise Senior. The $101 million verdict represents the difference between Ventas’ original bid and what it paid to close the deal.

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