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(Read more on the debt and equity markets.)

DALLAS-Cambridge Holdings Inc. is starting the New Year with a new equity partner, New York City-based Care Investment Trust Inc., which has bought its way into a $263-million medical office portfolio for $72.4 million. The deal, stamped two days ago, includes dibs on $232 million of upcoming development.

Cambridge’s capital infusion has bought 85% interest in eight properties in Texas and one, the Greater Baton Rouge Surgical Center at 7855 Howell Blvd. in Louisiana. Under the deal terms, Dallas-based Cambridge’s affiliates will continue as managing general partners, holding onto leasing and management of the facilities.

Care has used a new DownREIT operating partnership subsidiary to close the transaction. According to this morning’s press release, the deal was closed with $61.9 million in cash and 700,000 operating partnership units valued at $10.5 million. The existing portfolio has $178.9 million of asset-specific mortgage debt that matures after fourth quarter 2016 and bears a 5.86% weighted average interest rate. Dealmakers report that the transaction provides an initial preferred minimum return of 8% for Care’s investment, with 2% escalations per year based on portfolio performance.

Care’s option, if exercised, would add another six medical facilities in California, New York, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. Details about the pipeline, some of which is under construction, couldn’t be obtained by press time.

Care’s initial equity round, though, has secured rights to facilities on leading medical center campuses or beside prominent acute-care hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. About 70% of the 767,600-sf portfolio is made up of buildings constructed in the past three years and the balance has been renovated to class A medical space standards, according to the release. In addition, about 50% of the medical space is leased to hospital-related credit tenants, with locations and affiliations like Houston-based M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Christus Health of Irving, TX and United Surgical Partners International Inc. of Dallas.

The Care REIT, which began operations in March 2007, is a subsidiary of the New York City-based financial giant, CIT Group Inc. Care is advised and managed by CIT Healthcare LLC. “Cambridge’s unparalleled reputation for quality development makes them the perfect partner as Care moves its investment focus into ownership of high-quality healthcare facilities,” F. Scott Kellman, the REIT’s president and CEO, says in the release.

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