CHICAGO—First-quarter funds from operations forVentas Inc. increased 7% year over year to $323.4million while normalized FFO was $309.8 million, a 5% gain Y-O-Y,the healthcare REIT said Friday. Separately, thecompany announced that longtime CFO Richard A.Schweinhart would retire at the end of 2014.

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For Ventas, Q1 represented “another terrific quarter of superiorgrowth in cash flow and normalized FFO per share,” saysDebra A. Cafaro, the REIT's chaiman and CEO. TheREIT attributes the growth to same-store increases in its seniorshousing operating and triple-net leased portfolios and to itsinvestments, which during Q1 included acquiring a trio of UKprivate hospitals for $183 million. The acquisition of thehospitals, which are triple net-leased to the UK's second largestoperator of private hospitals, furthers Ventas' strategy ofinternational expansion and represented the lion's share of its Q1investments.

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“We continue to see highly favorable trends in global healthcarereal estate that should drive continued internal and externalgrowth for Ventas,” Cafaro says. The company is maintaining itsfull-year normalized FFO guidance at between $4.31 and $4.37 perdiluted share.

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Schweinhart, who turns 65 this year, will stay in his currentroles as EVP and CFO until year's end to help ensure a smoothtransition, capping a 43-year career in healthcare finance. Hejoined Ventas in these capacities in 2002; during his 12-yeartenure, the company completed more than $21 billion of acquisitionsand expanded its market capitalization from $900 million to $19billion.

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“Rick's contributions to Ventas' success have beenimmeasurable,” Cafaro says. The company has commenced a nationalsearch for a new CFO, and will consider internal and externalcandidates.

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Last month, Ventas said that longtime board member SheliRosenberg would not seek re-election when current termexpires on May 15. Rosenberg, whom Cafaro has called a mentorduring her early years in the industry, has served on the Ventasboard since 2001. Most recently, she chaired the board's nominatingand corporate governance committee.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.