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Alabama company helped private equity presence in hospitals

As private equity firms increasingly buy hospitals, several have used Birmingham, Ala.-based Medical Properties Trust for help.

Medical Properties Trust buys the bricks and mortar of hospitals and leases them back to hospital operators, which provides financing for the deals. This has made it one of the country's biggest owners of hospital property, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 14.

However, the company has experienced big losses from its largest tenant, Dallas-based Steward Health Care, which accounted for 30 percent of the company's revenue in 2020, the Journal reported. Between 2017 and 2020, Steward lost more than $800 million.

Medical Properties Trust made a number of deals with Steward since the start of the pandemic, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars funneled to Steward from Medical Properties Trust.

"Since 2016, Steward has paid [Medical Properties Trust] roughly $1.2 billion in rent and mortgage interest — and has never been even one day late," the company told the Journal.

The company said Steward has become a smaller part of its portfolio recently as it invests in facilities managed by other hospital operators.

Read more here.

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