Why Medical Properties Trust Shares Popped Today

Shares of Trust medical properties (NYSE: MPW) rose 18.6% on Wednesday after the largest healthcare facility tenant targeted real estate investment fund (REIT) has announced a deal to sell its physician network United Health (NYSE:UNH) subsidiary Optim.

Medical Properties’ largest tenant may finally be able to pay its bills

First in a story reported by the Boston Globe Late yesterday, beleaguered hospital operator Steward Health Care struck a deal to divest its nationwide physician network to UnitedHealth’s Optum segment. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed. But since Steward Health Care has not paid its rent to Medical Properties Trust, as it has struggled with financial problems in recent quarters – and coupled with the fact that Steward previously represented as much as 20% of Medical Properties Trust’s total revenue – Properties Trust shares are understandably rising given the prospect that Steward could catch up on his overdue obligations.

Medical Properties Trust previously cut its dividend by nearly 50% to $0.15 per share in August due to Steward Health Care’s inability to pay rent. In a January update, Medical Properties Trust revealed that Steward owed a total of $50 million in unpaid rent to the REIT at the end of 2023.

What’s next for investors in Medical Properties Trust?

The Steward Health Care agreement has not yet been finalized; The deal is widely expected to face pushback from antitrust regulators concerned about Optum’s recent acquisitive streak could threaten competition across the country.

But if this deal passes regulatory requirements, it could be a huge boon for investors in the Medical Properties Trust who…

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