updated 6/26/2006 6:44:34 PM ET 2006-06-26T22:44:34

General Electric Co. agreed Monday to buy 186 nursing homes for $1.4 billion from Formation Capital LLC.

The properties, contained in six senior housing portfolios, comprise 21,000 beds with an average occupancy rate of 90 percent, the company said. Half of the properties are located in Florida, with the rest in 20 other states.

GE’s Healthcare Financial Services unit said the current providers will continue to manage the properties under long-term leasing agreements.

The deal, expected to close in the third quarter, will bring GE Healthcare Financial Services’ real estate investments to more than $4 billion.

“This acquisition of senior living facilities marks the largest to date for our health care real estate team and positions us as a strong player in the equity market,” said John Cobb, senior managing director for GE Healthcare Financial Services’ real estate finance team. “We look forward to increasing our investments in the long-term care market in the years ahead.”

Formation Capital, which invests in and provides services to the senior housing and care industry, is based in Alpharetta, Ga.

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