Omega Acquires 18 UK Facilities, Denies Issues with Signature

Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. (NYSE: OHI) yesterday announced the acquisition of 18 care homes in the United Kingdom — and, in the same release, denied a recent report that it had hired a third-party advisor to assist with financial difficulties at properties operated by Signature Holdings II, LLC.

The Hunt Valley, Md.-based skilled nursing REIT bought the facilities for about $113 million from Gold Care Homes, which will continue to operate the homes as part of a lease arrangement. After the transaction closed on May 11, Gold Care — which operates nursing, dementia care, and residential facilities, among others — became the second U.K.-based operator for Omega; along with 35 facilities operated by Healthcare Homes Group, Omega now owns 53 care homes across the pond.

In the same release, Omega sought to combat unspecified “recent media reports” that the REIT had retained the services of Alvarez & Marsal, a global consulting firm, regarding Omega properties operated by Louisville-based Signature.

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Signature has allegedly faced financial difficulties in recent quarters, with Debtwire reporting that the company has struggled with the shift from the fee-for-service model to bundled payments.

The Debtwire report claims that Omega had indeed begun working with Alvarez & Marsal “as a financial avisor,” while Care Capital Properties (NYSE: CCP) — another owner of Signature-operated facilities — has sought the counsel of advisory firm FTI Consulting and law firm DLA Piper. Signature itself teamed with Ankura Consulting “to advise on strategic and financial alternatives,” according to Debtwire.

“While we do not provide financial information regarding our specific operators, the media report that we retained a financial adviser with regard to our facilities operated by Signature is simply false,” Omega president and CEO Taylor Pickett said in the release. “No single operator comprises more than 10% of our total portfolio based on rent, and this diversification minimizes the potential for an adverse impact associated with any single operator encountering financial difficulties.”

The headline of the release referred to the Signature intrigue as a “market rumor.”

In the same release, Omega announced that it had entered into multiple loan credit facilities totaling more than $1.8 billion.

Written by Alex Spanko

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