HOUSTON (AP) _ Living Centers of America Inc., a nursing home chain, will acquire The Brian Center Corp. in a deal worth about $282 million, officials said Thursday.

Living Centers will issue 32 percent of its outstanding stock for The Brian Center, a private company based in Hickory, N.C. The value of the acquisition includes $51 million in long-term debt of Brian Center.

Living Centers' stock closed up 50 cents, to $37 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Houston-based Living Centers of America has 252 centers and 21,244 licensed beds, and is the largest provider of long-term care in Texas and Colorado. It also operates centers in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming.

Brian Center operates long-term health care facilities providing skilled specialty nursing and ancillary health care services.

As of Dec. 31, Brian Center entities owned, leased or managed 46 centers with approximately 5,800 beds in North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

The transaction is subject to the approval of shareholders of both entities and of various governmental and third-party groups.