MPT unloads Springstone operating business
LifePoint Health acquired a majority stake in the operating company of psychiatric hospital organization Springstone from REIT Medical Properties Trust for $250 million, MPT announced.
Why it's the BFD: Unlike with most REIT transactions, MPT took on the underwriting risk when it acquired all of Louisville-based Springstone back in 2021 — and today's transaction proves the utility of that strategy.
💭 Our thought bubble: This strategy of temporarily capitalizing operators presumably gives MPT an edge over other REITs competing for assets while adding another avenue for ROI.
- This playbook is not unlike MPT's prior investments in Ernest, Median, Capella, and ATOS International.
- "They controlled their own destiny," one source says, "rather than get treated like a financing source."
Details: MPT now expects to receive approximately $200 million for the operating business, retaining a minority interest that enables it to capture potential future upside.
- MPT continues to own a majority of Springstone's real estate locations and has extended its lease with LifePoint by five years to 2041.
- Guggenheim Securities advised MPT, while Barclays and Goldman Sachs advised LifePoint.
- There was no formal auction, but the operating entity post MPT's October acquisition received inbound interest, one source notes.
Catch up fast: It was only 10 months ago that the REIT acquired from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) both Springstone's management entity and real estate associated with the behavioral health hospital organization.
- The transaction was valued at a combined $950 million — $760 million for the real estate alongside a $190 million investment in the OpCo via a loan.
- That deal concluded a Centerview Partners- and Moelis-run process, providing an exit for WCAS.
Flashback: WCAS injected $100 million into Springstone in 2010, taking a majority interest in the new entity, which had just one newly constructed behavioral hospital and outpatient location, in Evansville, Indiana.
Of note: To date, Springstone has been an entirely organic growth story under WCAS, with every facility built from the ground up, a model that takes both time and CapEx.
Zoom in: From LifePoint's POV, the deal underscores its devotion to building out its behavioral health services, an end market that has witnessed a growing imbalance of supply and demand, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.
- Springstone caregivers provide psychiatric and mental health services via 18 behavioral health hospitals and 35 outpatient locations in nine states.
- That network will join LifePoint's existing mental health services footprint, which today supports 30-plus behavioral health units in various community hospitals and three inpatient behavioral health facilities.