Ventas has signed an agreement with the Equity Group Investments (EGI) entity to sell its majority stake in Ardent Health Services (AHS) for $475m.

AHS, which provides healthcare services, is claimed to be one of the ten largest investor-owned hospital companies in the US.

The deal allows Ventas to have a 9.9% interest in AHS. The current AHS management is said to hold a significant ownership interest.

"With Ardent, we are well positioned to grow in the large, fragmented and rapidly consolidating $1trn domestic hospital segment."

Ventas unveiled plans to purchase AHS, while retaining the owned real estate and selling the hospital operations of AHS to a newly formed and capitalised operating company Ardent.

Ventas CEO Debra Cafaro said: "With Ardent, we are well positioned to grow in the large, fragmented and rapidly consolidating $1trn domestic hospital segment.

"We believe that hospitals will continue to be at the core of the healthcare delivery system, supported by attractive demographics, policy and an improving economy, which we expect will expand the ranks of insured individuals and improve provider revenues."

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Ardent provides services in three regions of the US, including Amarillo in Texas, Tulsa in Oklahoma and Albuquerque in New Mexico.

The healthcare provider operates 14 hospitals and three multi-speciality physician groups in these regions. It currently reports $2bn in annual revenues.

Ardent president David Vandewater said: "With these strong partners of EGI and Ventas, we believe we can build upon our success and provide additional capital to our facilities and expand into new service areas."

Subject to certain specified closing conditions and regulatory approvals, both the acquisition by Ventas of AHS and the acquisition by EGI of Ardent are expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.