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Welltower operates a REIT principally focused on the rental of skilled nursing facilities and senior housing facilities. According to analyst report published by Hindenburg Research, the Company’s largest tenant, a non-profit health system in the Midwest called ProMedica, previously accounted for 12% of the company’s annual Net Operating Income. ProMedica faced severe distress and began breaching bond covenants in early 2022, threatening Welltower’s investment.
On November 7th, 2022, Welltower announced a solution: it would transfer the operation of 147 skilled nursing facilities out of ProMedica and into a new joint venture with a health care operator called Integra Health. The deal helped fuel a 9% spike in Welltower’s stock. Welltower’s CEO said that Integra provided a “well-capitalized strategic partner” resulting in Welltower being paid 4% more in cash rent under the new JV, coming out ahead despite the distressed situation.
Despite the high praise from Welltower’s management and claims of being a well-experienced operator, Integra seems to barely exist. The entity was registered 6 months ago, according to Delaware corporate records. Its website was registered on the same day. On this news Welltower’s shares fell sharply in value.