Item 1. Business.
The use of the words “we,” “us” or “our” refers to Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III Holdings, LP, for periods prior to the Merger, as defined below, and American Healthcare REIT, Inc. (formerly known as Griffin-American Healthcare REIT IV, Inc.) and its subsidiaries, including American Healthcare REIT Holdings, LP (formerly known as Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III Holdings, LP), for periods following the Merger, except where otherwise noted. Certain historical information of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT IV, Inc. is included for background purposes.
American Healthcare REIT, Inc., a Maryland corporation, owns a diversified portfolio of clinical healthcare real estate properties, focusing primarily on medical office buildings, skilled nursing facilities, senior housing, hospitals and other healthcare-related facilities. We also operate healthcare-related facilities utilizing the structure permitted by the REIT Investment Diversification and Empowerment Act of 2007, which is commonly referred to as a “RIDEA” structure (the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, authorizing the RIDEA structure were enacted as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008). Our healthcare facilities operated under a RIDEA structure include our senior housing operating properties, or SHOP (formerly known as senior housing — RIDEA), and our integrated senior health campuses. We have originated and acquired secured loans and may also originate and acquire other real estate-related investments on an infrequent and opportunistic basis. We generally seek investments that produce current income; however, we have selectively developed, and may continue to selectively develop, real estate properties. We qualified to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, under the Code for federal income tax purposes, and we intend to continue to qualify to be taxed as a REIT.
Merger of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III, Inc. and Griffin-American Healthcare REIT IV, Inc.
On June 23, 2021, Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III, Inc., a Maryland corporation, or GAHR III, Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III Holdings, LP, a Delaware limited partnership, or our operating partnership that subsequent to the Merger on October 1, 2021 described below is also referred to as the surviving partnership, Griffin-American Healthcare REIT IV, Inc., a Maryland corporation, or GAHR IV, its subsidiary Griffin-American Healthcare REIT IV Holdings, LP, a Delaware limited partnership, or GAHR IV Operating Partnership, and Continental Merger Sub, LLC, a Maryland limited liability company and a newly formed wholly owned subsidiary of GAHR IV, or Merger Sub, entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger, or the Merger Agreement. On October 1, 2021, pursuant to the Merger Agreement, (i) GAHR III merged with and into Merger Sub, with Merger Sub being the surviving company, or the REIT Merger, and (ii) GAHR IV Operating Partnership merged with and into our operating partnership, with our operating partnership being the surviving entity and being renamed American Healthcare REIT Holdings, LP, or the Partnership Merger, and, together with the REIT Merger, the Merger. Following the Merger on October 1, 2021, our company, or the Combined Company, was renamed American Healthcare REIT, Inc. The REIT Merger was intended to qualify as a reorganization under, and within the meaning of, Section 368(a) of the Code. As a result of and at the effective time of the Merger, the separate corporate existence of GAHR III and GAHR IV Operating Partnership ceased.
At the effective time of the REIT Merger, each issued and outstanding share of GAHR III’s common stock, $0.01 par value per share, converted into the right to receive 0.9266 shares of GAHR IV’s Class I common stock, $0.01 par value per share. Further, at the effective time of the Partnership Merger, (i) each unit of limited partnership interest in the surviving partnership outstanding as of immediately prior to the effective time of the Partnership Merger was converted automatically into the right to receive 0.9266 of a Partnership Class I Unit, as defined in the agreement of limited partnership, as amended, of the surviving partnership, and (ii) each unit of limited partnership interest in GAHR IV Operating Partnership outstanding as of immediately prior to the effective time of the Partnership Merger was converted automatically into the right to receive one unit of limited partnership interest of the surviving partnership of like class.
Also on June 23, 2021, GAHR III; our operating partnership; American Healthcare Investors, LLC, or AHI; Griffin Capital Company, LLC, or Griffin Capital; Platform Healthcare Investor T-II, LLC; Flaherty Trust; and Jeffrey T. Hanson, our former Chief Executive Officer and current Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Danny Prosky, our former Chief Operating Officer and current Chief Executive Officer and President, and Mathieu B. Streiff, our former Executive Vice President, General Counsel and current Chief Operating Officer, or collectively, the AHI Principals, entered into a contribution and exchange agreement, or the Contribution Agreement, pursuant to which, among other things, GAHR III agreed to acquire a newly formed entity, American Healthcare Opps Holdings, LLC, or NewCo, which we refer to as the AHI Acquisition. NewCo
owned substantially all of the business and operations of AHI, as well as all of the equity interests in (i) Griffin-American Healthcare REIT IV Advisor, LLC, or GAHR IV Advisor, a subsidiary of AHI that served as the external advisor of GAHR IV, and (ii) Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III Advisor, LLC, or GAHR III Advisor, also referred to as our former advisor, a subsidiary of AHI that served as the external advisor of GAHR III. See “Operating Partnership and Former Advisor” below for a further discussion.
On October 1, 2021, the AHI Acquisition closed immediately prior to the consummation of the Merger, and pursuant to the Contribution Agreement, AHI contributed substantially all of its business and operations to the surviving partnership, including its interest in GAHR III Advisor and GAHR IV Advisor, and Griffin Capital contributed its then-current ownership interest in GAHR III Advisor and GAHR IV Advisor to the surviving partnership. In exchange for these contributions, the surviving partnership issued limited partnership units, or surviving partnership OP units. Subject to working capital and other customary adjustments, the total approximate value of these surviving partnership OP units at the time of consummation of the transactions contemplated by the Contribution Agreement was approximately $131,674,000, with a reference value for purposes thereof of $8.71 per unit, such that the surviving partnership issued 15,117,529 surviving partnership OP units as consideration, or the Closing Date Consideration. Following the consummation of the Merger and the AHI Acquisition, the Combined Company has become self-managed. As of December 31, 2021, such surviving partnership OP units are owned by AHI Group Holdings, LLC, or AHI Group Holdings, which is owned and controlled by the AHI Principals, Platform Healthcare Investor T-II, LLC, Flaherty Trust and a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffin Capital, or collectively, the NewCo Sellers.
In addition to the Closing Date Consideration, pursuant to the Contribution Agreement, we may in the future pay cash “earnout” consideration to AHI based on the fees that we may earn from our potential sponsorship of, and investment advisory services rendered to, American Healthcare RE Fund, L.P., a healthcare-related, real-estate-focused, private investment fund under consideration by AHI, or the Earnout Consideration. The Earnout Consideration is uncapped in amount and, if ever payable by us to AHI, will be due on the seventh anniversary of the closing of the AHI Acquisition (subject to acceleration in certain events, including if we achieve certain fee-generation milestones from our sponsorship of the private investment fund). AHI’s ability to receive the Earnout Consideration is also subject to vesting conditions relating to the private investment fund’s deployed equity capital and the continuous employment of at least two of the AHI Principals throughout the vesting period. As of December 31, 2021, the fair value of such cash earnout consideration was estimated to be $0.
The AHI Acquisition was treated as a business combination for accounting purposes, with GAHR III as both the legal and accounting acquiror of NewCo. While GAHR IV was the legal acquiror of GAHR III in the REIT Merger, GAHR III was determined to be the accounting acquiror in the REIT Merger in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, Topic 805, Business Combinations, or ASC Topic 805, after considering the relative share ownership and the composition of the governing body of the Combined Company. Thus, the financial information set forth herein subsequent to the consummation of the Merger and the AHI Acquisition reflects results of the Combined Company, and the financial information set forth herein prior to the Merger and the AHI Acquisition reflects GAHR III’s results. For this reason, period to period comparisons may not be meaningful.
Please see Note 3, Business Combinations, to the Consolidated Financial Statements that are a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for a further discussion of the Merger and the AHI Acquisition.
Operating Partnership and Former Advisor
We conduct substantially all of our operations through our operating partnership. Through September 30, 2021, we were externally advised by our former advisor pursuant to an advisory agreement, as amended, or the Advisory Agreement, between us and our former advisor, and GAHR IV was externally advised by its former advisor pursuant to a separate advisory agreement between those parties. On June 23, 2021, we also entered into a Mutual Consent Regarding Waiver of Subordination of Asset Management Fees, or the Mutual Consent, pursuant to which, for the period from the date the Mutual Consent was entered into until the earlier to occur of (i) the closing of the Merger, or (ii) the termination of the Merger Agreement, the parties waived the requirement in the Advisory Agreement that our stockholders receive distributions in an amount equal to 5.0% per annum, cumulative, non-compounded, of their invested capital before we would be obligated to pay an asset management fee. Our former advisor and the former advisor of GAHR IV used their best efforts, subject to the oversight and review of each company’s board of directors, to, among other things, provide asset management, property management, acquisition, disposition and other advisory services on behalf of the respective company consistent with such company’s investment policies and objectives. Following the Merger and the AHI Acquisition, we became self-managed and are no longer externally advised. As a result, any fees that would have otherwise been payable to our former advisor or the former advisor of GAHR IV, are no longer being paid.
Prior to the Merger and AHI Acquisition, our former advisor was 75.0% owned and managed by wholly owned subsidiaries of AHI, and 25.0% owned by a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffin Capital, or collectively, our former co-sponsors. Prior to the AHI Acquisition, AHI was 47.1% owned by AHI Group Holdings, 45.1% indirectly owned by Digital
Bridge Group, Inc. (NYSE: DBRG) (formerly known as Colony Capital, Inc.), or Digital Bridge, and 7.8% owned by James F. Flaherty III, a former partner of Colony Capital. We were not affiliated with Griffin Capital, Digital Bridge or Mr. Flaherty; however, we were affiliated with our former advisor, AHI and AHI Group Holdings. Please see the “Merger of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III, Inc. and Griffin-American Healthcare REIT IV, Inc.” and “AHI Acquisition” sections above for a further discussion of our operations effective October 1, 2021. As a result of the Merger and the AHI Acquisition on October 1, 2021, we, through our direct and indirect subsidiaries, own approximately 94.9% of our operating partnership and the remaining 5.1% is owned by the NewCo Sellers. See Note 13, Redeemable Noncontrolling Interests, and Note 14, Equity – Noncontrolling Interests in Total Equity, to the Consolidated Financial Statements that are a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for a further discussion.
GAHR IV raised $754,118,000 through a best efforts initial public offering, or the initial offering, and issued 75,639,681 aggregate shares of its Class T and Class I common stock. In addition, during the initial offering, GAHR IV issued 3,253,535 aggregate shares of its Class T and Class I common stock pursuant to GAHR IV’s distribution reinvestment plan, as amended, or the DRIP, for a total of $31,021,000 in distributions reinvested. Following the deregistration of the initial offering, GAHR IV continued issuing shares of its common stock pursuant to the DRIP through a subsequent offering, or the 2019 GAHR IV DRIP Offering. GAHR IV commenced offering shares pursuant to the 2019 GAHR IV DRIP Offering on March 1, 2019, following the termination of the initial offering on February 15, 2019. On March 18, 2021, the GAHR IV board of directors authorized the suspension of the DRIP, effective as of April 1, 2021.
On October 4, 2021, our board of directors, or our board, authorized the reinstatement of the DRIP. We continue to offer up to $100,000,000 of shares of our common stock to be issued pursuant to the DRIP under an existing Registration Statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, filed by GAHR IV. As of December 31, 2021, a total of $54,637,000 in distributions were reinvested that resulted in 5,755,013 shares of common stock being issued pursuant to the 2019 GAHR IV DRIP Offering. We collectively refer to the DRIP portion of GAHR IV’s initial offering and the 2019 GAHR IV DRIP Offering as our DRIP Offerings. See Note 14, Equity — Distribution Reinvestment Plan, to the Consolidated Financial Statements that are a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for a further discussion.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and globally, since March 2020, our residents, tenants, operating partners and managers have been materially impacted. The rise of the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19, and government and public health agencies’ responses to potential future resurgences in the virus, further contributes to the prolonged economic impact and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also uncertainty regarding the acceptance of available vaccines and boosters and the public’s receptiveness to those measures. As the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting the healthcare system, it continues to present challenges for us as an owner and operator of healthcare facilities, making it difficult to ascertain the long-term impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on real estate markets in which we own and/or operate properties and our portfolio of investments.
We have evaluated the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business thus far and incorporated information concerning such impacts into our assessments of liquidity, impairment and collectability from tenants and residents as of December 31, 2021. We will continue to monitor such impacts and will adjust our estimates and assumptions based on the best available information. For a further discussion of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our business, see Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
•On October 1, 2021, we completed the Merger and the AHI Acquisition and were renamed American Healthcare REIT, Inc., which resulted in the creation of a self-managed, diversified healthcare real estate investment trust with approximately $4.3 billion in healthcare real estate assets.
•On October 4, 2021, our board authorized the reinstatement of the DRIP and as a result, beginning with the October 2021 distribution, which was paid in November 2021, stockholders who previously enrolled as participants in the DRIP (including former GAHR III stockholders who participated in the DRIP offerings conducted by GAHR III) were able to receive distributions in shares of our common stock pursuant to the terms of the DRIP, instead of cash distributions. Our board also authorized record date distributions to our Class T and Class I stockholders of record as of each monthly record date from October 2021 through March 2022, equal to $0.033333333 per share of our common stock, which is equal to an annualized distribution rate of $0.40 per share. The distributions were paid in cash or shares of our common stock pursuant to the DRIP.
•In addition, on October 4, 2021, our board amended and restated our share repurchase plan, which amended the repurchase price with respect to repurchases resulting from the death or qualifying disability (as such term is defined in the share repurchase plan) of a stockholder from 100% of the price paid by the stockholder to acquire shares of our Class T common stock or Class I common stock, as applicable, to the most recently published estimated per share net asset value, or NAV. On October 4, 2021, our board also authorized the partial reinstatement of our share repurchase plan with respect to requests to repurchase shares resulting from the death or qualifying disability of stockholders, effective with respect to qualifying repurchases for the fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2021, which were paid on January 4, 2022.
•During 2021, through our majority-owned subsidiary, Trilogy Investors, LLC, or Trilogy, GAHR III expanded our integrated senior health campuses segment by $165,818,000 primarily through the acquisition of previously leased campuses and completion of development projects, as well as the acquisition of land for development.
•On January 19, 2022, we terminated the 2018 Credit Facility (as defined below) and through our operating partnership, entered into a credit agreement that supersedes and replaces the 2019 Credit Facility (as defined below) with a credit facility for an aggregate maximum principal amount up to $1,050,000,000. See Note 9, Lines of Credit and Term Loans, and Note 22, Subsequent Events, to the Consolidated Financial Statements that are a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for a further discussion.
•On March 24, 2022, our board, at the recommendation of the audit committee of our board, comprised solely of independent directors, unanimously approved and established an updated estimated per share NAV of our common stock of $9.29 as of December 31, 2021. For a further discussion, see Part II, Item 5, Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities, and Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
•As of March 25, 2022, we owned and/or operated 182 properties, comprising 191 buildings, and 122 integrated senior health campuses including completed development projects, or approximately 19,461,000 square feet of gross leasable area, or GLA, for an aggregate contract purchase price of $4,299,886,000. In addition, as of March 25, 2022, we also owned a real estate-related debt investment purchased for $60,429,000.
Our principal executive offices are located at 18191 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 300, Irvine, California 92612, and our telephone number is (949) 270-9200. We maintain a web site at www.americanhealthcarereit.com, at which there is additional information about us. The contents of that site are not incorporated by reference in, or otherwise a part of, this filing. We make our periodic and current reports and all amendments to those reports available at www.americanhealthcarereit.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such materials are electronically filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. They also are available for printing by any stockholder upon request. In addition, copies of our filings with the SEC may be obtained from the SEC’s website, http://www.sec.gov. Access to these filings is free of charge.
Our investment objectives are:
•to preserve, protect and return our stockholders’ capital contributions;
•to pay regular cash distributions; and
•to realize growth in the value of our investments upon our ultimate sale of such investments.
Our board may change our investment objectives if it determines it is advisable and in the best interest of our stockholders.
We have and we may continue to invest in a diversified portfolio of clinical healthcare real estate properties, focusing primarily on medical office buildings, skilled nursing facilities, senior housing, hospitals and other healthcare-related facilities, such as long-term acute care centers, surgery centers, memory care facilities, specialty medical and diagnostic service facilities, laboratories and research facilities, pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturing facilities and offices leased to tenants in healthcare-related industries. We have acquired, and may continue to acquire, properties either directly or jointly with third parties. We also have originated and acquired, and may continue to originate or acquire, secured loans and other real estate-related investments on an infrequent and opportunistic basis.
We generally seek investments that produce current income; however, we have selectively developed, and may continue to selectively develop, real estate properties. Our portfolio may include properties in various stages of development other than those producing current income. These stages include unimproved land both with and without entitlements and permits, property to be redeveloped and repositioned, newly constructed properties and properties in lease-up or other stabilization, all
of which have limited or no relevant operating histories and current income. Our board makes such investment determinations based upon a variety of factors, including the available risk-adjusted returns for such properties when compared with other available properties, the appropriate diversification of the portfolio and our objectives of realizing both current income and capital appreciation upon the ultimate sale of properties.
We seek to maximize long-term stockholder value by generating sustainable growth in cash flows and portfolio value. In order to achieve these objectives, we may invest using a number of investment structures, which may include direct acquisitions, joint ventures, leveraged investments, issuing securities for property and direct and indirect investments in real estate. In order to maintain our exemption from regulation as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the Investment Company Act, we may be required to limit our investments in certain types of real estate-related investments. See “Investment Company Act Considerations” below for a further discussion.
For each of our investments, regardless of property type, we seek to invest in properties with the following attributes:
•Quality. We seek to acquire properties that are suitable for their intended use with a quality of construction that is capable of sustaining the property’s investment potential for the long-term, assuming funding of budgeted maintenance, repairs and capital improvements.
•Location. We seek to acquire properties that are located in established or otherwise appropriate markets, with access and visibility suitable to meet the needs of its occupants. In addition to United States properties, we also seek to acquire international properties that meet our investment criteria.
•Market; Supply and Demand. We focus on local or regional markets that have potential for stable and growing property level cash flows over the long-term. These determinations are based in part on an evaluation of local and regional economic, demographic and regulatory factors affecting the property. For instance, we favor markets that indicate a growing population and employment base or markets that exhibit potential limitations on additions to supply, such as barriers to new construction. Barriers to new construction include lack of available land, stringent zoning restrictions and states where certificates of need are required. In addition, we generally seek to limit our investments in areas that have limited potential for growth.
•Predictable Capital Needs. We seek to acquire properties where the future expected capital needs can be reasonably projected in a manner that would enable us to meet our objectives of growth in cash flows and preservation of capital and stability.
•Cash Flows. We seek to acquire properties where the current and projected cash flows, including the potential for appreciation in value, would enable us to meet our overall investment objectives. We evaluate cash flows as well as expected growth and the potential for appreciation.
We are not limited as to the geographic areas where we may acquire properties. We are not specifically limited in the number or size of properties we may acquire or on the percentage of our assets that we may invest in a single property or investment. The number and mix of properties and real estate-related investments we will acquire will depend upon real estate and market conditions and other circumstances existing at the time we are acquiring our properties and making our investments and the amount of debt financing available.
Real Estate Investments
We have invested, and may continue to invest, in a diversified portfolio of clinical healthcare real estate investments, focusing primarily on medical office buildings, skilled nursing facilities, senior housing, hospitals and other healthcare-related facilities. We generally seek investments that produce current income. Our investments may include:
•medical office buildings;
•skilled nursing facilities;
•senior housing facilities;
•healthcare-related facilities operated utilizing a RIDEA structure;
•long-term acute care facilities;
•memory care facilities;
•specialty medical and diagnostic service facilities;
•laboratories and research facilities;
•pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturing facilities; and
•offices leased to tenants in healthcare-related industries.
We generally seek to acquire real estate of the types described above that will best enable us to meet our investment objectives, taking into account the diversification of our portfolio at the time, relevant real estate and financial factors, the location, the income-producing capacity and the prospects for long-range appreciation of a particular property and other considerations. As a result, we may acquire properties other than the types described above. In addition, we may acquire properties that vary from the parameters described above for a particular property type.
Our real estate investments generally take the form of holding fee title or long-term leasehold interests. Our investments may be made either directly through our operating partnership or indirectly through investments in joint ventures, limited liability companies, general partnerships or other co-ownership arrangements with the developers of the properties or other persons. See “Joint Ventures” below for a further discussion.
We have exercised, and may continue to exercise, our purchase options to acquire properties that we currently lease. In addition, we have participated in sale-leaseback transactions, in which we purchase real estate investments and lease them back to the sellers of such properties. We will use our best efforts to structure any such sale-leaseback transaction such that the lease will be characterized as a “true lease” and so that we will be treated as the owner of the property for federal income tax purposes.
Our obligation to close a transaction involving the purchase of real estate is generally conditioned upon the delivery and verification of certain documents from the seller or developer, including, where appropriate: (i) plans and specifications; (ii) environmental reports (generally a minimum of a Phase I investigation); (iii) building condition reports; (iv) surveys; (v) evidence of marketable title subject to such liens and encumbrances; (vi) audited financial statements covering recent operations of real properties having operating histories unless such statements are not required to be filed with the SEC and delivered to stockholders; (vii) title insurance policies; and (viii) liability insurance policies.
In determining whether to purchase a particular real estate investment, we may obtain an option on such property, including land suitable for development. The amount paid for an option is normally surrendered if the real estate is not purchased, and is normally credited against the purchase price if the real estate is purchased. We also may enter into arrangements with the seller or developer of a real estate investment whereby the seller or developer agrees that if, during a stated period, the real estate investment does not generate specified cash flows, the seller or developer will pay us cash in an amount necessary to reach the specified cash flows level, subject in some cases to negotiated dollar limitations.
We have obtained, and we intend to continue to obtain, adequate insurance coverage for all real estate investments in which we invest.
We have acquired, and we intend to continue to acquire, leased properties with long-term leases and we generally do not intend to operate any healthcare-related facilities directly. As a REIT, we are prohibited from operating healthcare-related facilities directly; however, we have leased, and may continue to lease, healthcare-related facilities that we acquire to wholly owned taxable REIT subsidiaries, or TRS. In such an event, our TRS will engage a third party in the business of operating healthcare-related facilities to manage the property utilizing a RIDEA structure permitted by the Code. Through our TRS, we bear all operational risks and liabilities associated with the operation of such healthcare-related facilities unlike our triple-net leased properties. Such operational risks and liabilities include, but are not limited to, resident quality of care claims and governmental reimbursement matters.
Development and Construction Activities
On an opportunistic basis, we have selectively developed, and may continue to selectively develop, real estate assets within our integrated senior health campuses segment when market conditions warrant, which may be funded through capital that we, and in certain circumstances, our joint venture partners, provide. As of December 31, 2021, we had two integrated senior health campuses under development. In doing so, we may be able to reduce overall purchase costs by developing property versus purchasing an existing property. We retain and will continue to retain independent contractors to perform the actual construction work on tenant improvements, as well as property development.
We have entered into, and we may continue to enter into, joint ventures, general partnerships and other arrangements with one or more institutions or individuals, including real estate developers, operators, owners, investors and others, for the purpose of acquiring real estate. Such joint ventures may be leveraged with debt financing or unleveraged. We have entered into, and may continue to enter into, joint ventures to further diversify our investments or to access investments which meet our investment criteria that would otherwise be unavailable to us. In determining whether to invest in a particular joint venture, we
will evaluate the real estate that such joint venture owns or is being formed to own under the same criteria described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the selection of our other properties. However, we will not participate in tenant in common syndications or transactions.
Joint ventures with unaffiliated third parties may be structured such that the investment made by us and the co-venturer are on substantially different terms and conditions. This type of investment structure may result in the co-venturer receiving more of the cash flows, including appreciation, of an investment than we would receive. See Item 1A, Risk Factors — Risks Related to Joint Ventures, for a further discussion.
Our entering into such joint ventures may result in certain conflicts of interest. See Item 1A, Risk Factors — Risks Related to Joint Ventures, for a further discussion.
Real Estate-Related Investments
In addition to our acquisition of medical office buildings, skilled nursing facilities, senior housing, hospitals and other healthcare-related facilities, on an infrequent and opportunistic basis, we have invested, and may continue to invest, in real estate-related investments, including loans and securities investments.
Investing In and Originating Loans
We have invested, and we may continue to invest, in first and second mortgage loans, mezzanine loans and bridge loans. However, we will not make or invest in any loans that are subordinate to any mortgage or equity interest of any of our directors, or any of our affiliates. We also may invest in participations in mortgage loans. Second mortgage loans are secured by second deeds of trust on real property that is already subject to prior mortgage indebtedness. A mezzanine loan is a loan made in respect of certain real property but is secured by a lien on the ownership interests of the entity that, directly or indirectly, owns the real property. A bridge loan is short term financing, for an individual or business, until permanent or the next stage of financing can be obtained. Mortgage participation investments are investments in partial interests of mortgages of the type described above that are made and administered by third-party mortgage lenders. In evaluating prospective loan investments, we consider factors, including, but not limited to: the ratio of the investment amount to the underlying property’s value, current and projected cash flows of the property, the degree of liquidity of the investment, the quality, experience and creditworthiness of the borrower and, in the case of mezzanine loans, the ability to acquire the underlying real property.
Our criteria for making or investing in loans are substantially the same as those involved in our investment in properties. We do not intend to make loans to other persons, to underwrite securities of other issuers or to engage in the purchase and sale of any types of investments other than those relating to real estate. We will not make or invest in mortgage loans on any one property if the aggregate amount of all mortgage loans outstanding on the property, including our loan, would exceed an amount equal to 85.0% of the appraised value of the property, as determined by an appraiser, unless we find substantial justification due to other underwriting criteria; however, our policy generally will be that the aggregate amount of all mortgage loans outstanding on the property, including our loan, would not exceed 75.0% of the appraised value of the property. We may find such justification in connection with the purchase of loans in cases in which we believe there is a high probability of our foreclosure upon the property in order to acquire the underlying assets and in which the cost of the loan investment does not exceed the fair market value of the underlying property. We will not invest in or make loans unless an appraisal has been obtained concerning the underlying property, except for those loans insured or guaranteed by a government or government agency. In the event the transaction is with any of our directors or their respective affiliates, the appraisal will be obtained from a certified independent appraiser to support its determination of fair market value. In addition, we will seek to obtain a customary lender’s title insurance policy or commitment as to the priority of the mortgage or condition of the title. Because the factors considered, including the specific weight we place on each factor, will vary for each prospective loan investment, we do not, and are not able to, assign a specific weight or level of importance to any particular factor.
We will evaluate all potential loan investments to determine if the security for the loan and the loan-to-value ratio meets our investment criteria and objectives. Most loans that we will consider for investment would provide for monthly payments of interest and some may also provide for principal amortization, although many loans of the nature that we will consider provide for payments of interest only and a payment of principal in full at the end of the loan term. We will not originate loans with negative amortization provisions.
We are not limited as to the amount of our assets that may be invested in mezzanine loans, bridge loans and second mortgage loans. However, we recognize that these types of loans are riskier than first deeds of trust or first priority mortgages on income-producing, fee-simple properties, and we expect to minimize the amount of these types of loans in our portfolio. We will evaluate the fact that these types of loans are riskier in determining the rate of interest on the loans. We do not have any policy that limits the amount that we may invest in any single loan or the amount we may invest in loans to any one borrower. We have not established a portfolio turnover policy with respect to loans we invest in or originate.
Investing in Securities
We have invested, and may continue to invest, in debt securities such as commercial mortgage-backed securities issued by other unaffiliated real estate companies. We may also invest in equity securities of public or private real estate companies. Commercial mortgage-backed securities are securities that evidence interests in, or are secured by, a single commercial mortgage loan or a pool of commercial mortgage loans. Commercial mortgage-backed securities generally are pass-through certificates that represent beneficial ownership interests in common law trusts whose assets consist of defined portfolios of one or more commercial mortgage loans. They typically are issued in multiple tranches whereby the more senior classes are entitled to priority distributions from the trust’s income. Losses and other shortfalls from expected amounts to be received in the mortgage pool are borne by the most subordinate classes, which receive payments only after the more senior classes have received all principal and/or interest to which they are entitled. Commercial mortgage-backed securities are subject to all of the risks of the underlying mortgage loans. We may invest in investment grade and non-investment grade commercial mortgage-backed securities.
The specific number and mix of securities in which we invest will depend upon real estate market conditions, other circumstances existing at the time we are investing in securities and the amount of any future indebtedness that we may incur. We will not invest in securities of other issuers for the purpose of exercising control and the first or second mortgages in which we intend to invest will likely not be insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs or otherwise guaranteed or insured. Real estate-related equity securities are generally unsecured and also may be subordinated to other obligations of the issuer. Our investments in real estate-related equity securities will involve special risks relating to the particular issuer of the equity securities, including the financial condition and business outlook of the issuer.
Our Strategies and Policies With Respect to Borrowing
We have used, and intend to continue to use, secured and unsecured debt as a means of providing additional funds for the acquisition of properties and real estate-related investments. Our ability to enhance our investment returns and to increase our diversification by acquiring assets using additional funds provided through borrowing could be adversely impacted if banks and other lending institutions reduce the amount of funds available for the types of loans we seek. When interest rates are high or financing is otherwise unavailable on a timely basis, we may purchase certain assets for cash with the intention of obtaining debt financing at a later time. We have also used, and may continue to use, derivative financial instruments such as fixed interest rate swaps and caps to add stability to interest expense and to manage our exposure to interest rate movements.
We anticipate that our overall leverage will not exceed 50.0% of the combined fair market value of all of our properties and other real estate-related investments, as determined at the end of each calendar year. For these purposes, the market value of each asset will be equal to the contract purchase price paid for the asset or, if the asset was appraised subsequent to the date of purchase, then the market value will be equal to the value reported in the most recent independent appraisal of the asset. Our policies do not limit the amount we may borrow with respect to any individual investment. As of December 31, 2021, our aggregate borrowings were 46.8% of the combined market value of all of our real estate and real estate-related investments.
We use our best efforts to obtain financing on the most favorable terms available to us and refinance assets during the term of a loan only in limited circumstances, such as when a decline in interest rates makes it beneficial to prepay an existing loan, when an existing loan matures or if an attractive investment becomes available and the proceeds from the refinancing can be used to purchase such investment. The benefits of the refinancing may include increased cash flows resulting from reduced debt service requirements, an increase in distributions from proceeds of the refinancing, and an increase in diversification and assets owned if all or a portion of the refinancing proceeds are reinvested.
If we incur mortgage indebtedness, we will endeavor to obtain level payment financing, meaning that the amount of debt service payable would be substantially the same each year, although some mortgages are likely to provide for one large payment and we may incur floating or adjustable rate financing when our board determines it to be in our best interest.
Sale or Disposition of Assets
We have disposed, and may continue to dispose, of assets. We will determine whether a particular property or real estate-related investment should be sold or otherwise disposed of after consideration of the relevant factors, including prevailing economic conditions, with a view toward maximizing our investment objectives. We intend to hold each property or real estate-related investment we acquire for an extended period. However, circumstances might arise which could result in a shortened holding period for certain investments. A property or real estate-related investment may be sold before the end of the expected holding period if: (i) diversification benefits exist associated with disposing of the investment and rebalancing our investment portfolio; (ii) an opportunity arises to pursue a more attractive investment; (iii) the value of the investment might decline; (iv) with respect to properties, a major tenant involuntarily liquidates or is in default under its lease; (v) the investment was acquired as part of a portfolio acquisition and does not meet our general acquisition criteria; (vi) an opportunity exists to enhance overall
investment returns by raising capital through sale of the investment; or (vii) the sale of the investment is in the best interest of our stockholders.
The determination of whether a particular property or real estate-related investment should be sold or otherwise disposed of will be made after consideration of the relevant factors, including prevailing economic conditions, with a view toward maximizing our investment objectives.
Terms of Leases
The terms and conditions of any lease we enter into with our tenants may vary substantially from those we describe in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. However, we expect that a majority of our leases will require the tenant to pay or reimburse us for some or all of the operating expenses of the building based on the tenant’s proportionate share of rentable space within the building. Operating expenses typically include, but are not limited to, real estate and other taxes, utilities, insurance and building repairs, and other building operation and management costs. We expect to be responsible for the replacement of specific structural components of a property such as the roof of the building or the parking lot. We expect that many of our leases will have terms of five or more years, some of which may have renewal options.
Tax Status and Distribution Policy
As a REIT, we generally will not be subject to federal income tax on taxable income that we distribute to our stockholders. We qualified, and elected to be taxed, as a REIT under the Code for federal income tax purposes, and we intend to continue to qualify to be taxed as a REIT. To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we must meet certain organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement to currently distribute at least 90.0% of our annual taxable income, excluding net capital gains, to our stockholders. Existing Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, guidance includes a safe harbor pursuant to which publicly offered REITs can satisfy the distribution requirement by distributing a combination of cash and stock to stockholders. In general, to qualify under the safe harbor, each stockholder must elect to receive either cash or stock, and the aggregate cash component of the distribution to stockholders must represent at least 20.0% of the total distribution.
We cannot predict if we will generate sufficient cash flows to continue to pay cash distributions to our stockholders on an ongoing basis or at all. The amount of any cash distributions is determined by our board and depends on the amount of distributable funds, current and projected cash requirements, tax considerations, any limitations imposed by the terms of indebtedness we may incur and other factors. If our investments produce sufficient cash flows, we expect to continue paying distributions to our stockholders as determined at the discretion of our board of directors. Because our cash available for distribution in any year may be less than 90.0% of our annual taxable income, excluding net capital gains, for the year, we may be required to borrow money, use proceeds from the issuance of securities (in subsequent offerings, if any) or sell assets to pay out enough of our taxable income to satisfy the distribution requirement. These methods of obtaining funds could affect future distributions by increasing operating costs. We did not establish any limit on the amount of net proceeds from the initial offering or borrowings that may be used to fund distributions, except that, in accordance with our organizational documents and Maryland law, we may not make distributions that would: (i) cause us to be unable to pay our debts as they become due in the usual course of business; or (ii) cause our total assets to be less than the sum of our total liabilities plus senior liquidation preferences.
To the extent that any distributions to our stockholders are paid out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, such distributions are taxable as ordinary income. To the extent that any of our distributions exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits, such amounts constitute a return of capital to our stockholders for federal income tax purposes, to the extent of their basis in their stock and thereafter will constitute capital gain. Any portion of distributions to our stockholders paid from net offering proceeds or borrowings constitutes a return of capital to our stockholders.
Since September 2021, our board authorizes distributions to our stockholders of record as of a designated record date each month and pays such distributions monthly in arrears. However, our board could, at any time, elect to pay distributions quarterly to reduce administrative costs. The amount of distributions we pay to our stockholders is determined by our board and is dependent on a number of factors, including funds available for the payment of distributions, our financial condition, capital expenditure requirements, annual distribution requirements needed to maintain our status as a REIT under the Code and restrictions imposed by our organizational documents and Maryland Law.
See Part II, Item 5, Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities — Distributions, for a further discussion of distributions approved by our board.
We compete with many other entities engaged in the acquisition, development, leasing and financing of healthcare-related real estate investments. Our ability to successfully compete is impacted by economic trends, availability of acceptable
investment opportunities, our ability to negotiate beneficial investment terms, availability and cost of capital, construction and development costs and applicable laws and regulations.
Income from our investments is dependent on the ability of our tenants and operators to compete with other healthcare operators. These operators compete on a local and regional basis for patients and residents and the operators’ ability to successfully attract and retain patients and residents depends on key factors such as the number of properties in the local market, the quality of the affiliated health system, proximity to hospital campuses, the price and range of services available, the scope and quality of care, reputation, age and appearance of each property, demographic trends and the cost of care in each locality. As a result, we may have to provide rent concessions, incur charges for tenant improvements, or offer other inducements, or we may be unable to timely lease vacant space in our properties, all of which may have an adverse impact on our results of operations. Private, federal and state payment programs and the effect of other laws and regulations may also have a significant impact on the ability of our tenants and operators to compete successfully for patients and residents at the properties. For additional information on the risks associated with our business, please see Item 1A, Risk Factors.
Our properties are subject to various federal, state and local regulatory requirements, and changes in these laws and regulations, or their interpretation by agencies, occur frequently. Further, our tenants and our healthcare facility operators and managers, including our TRS entities that own and operate our properties under a RIDEA structure, and our tenants are typically subject to extensive and complex federal, state and local healthcare laws and regulations relating to quality of care, government reimbursement, fraud and abuse practices, and similar laws governing the operation of healthcare facilities, and we expect the healthcare industry, in general, will continue to face increased regulation and pressure in the areas of healthcare management, fraud and provision of services, among others. If we fail to comply with these various requirements, we may incur governmental fines or private damage awards. While we believe that our properties are and will be in substantial compliance with all of these regulatory requirements, we do not know whether existing requirements will change or whether future requirements will require us to make significant unanticipated capital expenditures that will adversely affect our ability to make distributions to our stockholders. We believe, based in part on third-party due diligence reports which are generally obtained at the time we acquire the properties, that all of our properties comply in all material respects with current regulations. However, if we were required to make significant expenditures under applicable regulations, our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations and to pay distributions could be adversely affected.
Privacy and Security Laws and Regulations. There are various United States federal and state privacy laws and regulations that provide for consumer protection of personal health information, particularly electronic security and privacy. Compliance with such laws and regulations may require us to, among other things, conduct additional risk analysis, modify our risk management plan, implement new policies and procedures and conduct additional training. We are generally dependent on our tenants and management companies to fulfill our compliance obligations, and we have in certain circumstances developed a program to periodically monitor compliance with such obligations. However, there can be no assurance we would not be required to alter one or more of our systems and data security procedures to be in compliance with these laws. If we fail to adequately protect health information, we could be subject to civil or criminal liability and adverse publicity, which could harm our business and impact our ability to attract new tenants and residents. We may be required to notify individuals, as well as government agencies and the media, if we experience a data breach.
Healthcare Licensure and Certification. Generally, certain properties in our portfolio are subject to licensure, may require a certificate of need, or CON, or other certification through regulatory agencies in order to operate and participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. Requirements pertaining to such licensure and certification relate to the quality of care provided by the operator, qualifications of the operator’s staff and continuing compliance with applicable laws and regulations. In addition, CON laws and regulations may place restrictions on certain activities such as the addition of beds at our facilities and changes in ownership. Failure to obtain a license, CON or other certification, or revocation, suspension or restriction of such required license, CON or other certification, could adversely impact our properties’ operations and their ability to generate revenue from services provided. State CON laws are not uniform throughout the United States and are subject to change. We cannot predict the impact of state CON laws on our facilities or the operations of our tenants.
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, or the ADA, all public accommodations must meet federal requirements for access and use by disabled persons. Additional federal, state and local laws also may require modifications to our properties or restrict our ability to renovate our properties. We cannot predict the cost of compliance with the ADA or other legislation. We may incur substantial costs to comply with the ADA or any other legislation.
Government Environmental Regulation and Private Litigation. Environmental laws and regulations hold us liable for the costs of removal or remediation of certain hazardous or toxic substances which may be on our properties. These laws could impose liability without regard to whether we are responsible for the presence or release of the hazardous materials.
Government investigations and remediation actions may have substantial costs and the presence of hazardous substances on a property could result in personal injury or similar claims by private plaintiffs. Various laws also impose liability on a person who arranges for the disposal or treatment of hazardous or toxic substances and such person often must incur the cost of removal or remediation of hazardous substances at the disposal or treatment facility. These laws often impose liability whether or not the person arranging for the disposal ever owned or operated the disposal facility. As the owner of our properties, we may be deemed to have arranged for the disposal or treatment of hazardous or toxic substances.
For a discussion of our geographic information, see Item 2, Properties — Geographic Diversification/Concentration Table, as well as Note 19, Segment Reporting and Note 20, Concentration of Credit Risk, to the Consolidated Financial Statements that are a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Employees; Human Capital Resources
Prior to the consummation of the Merger and the AHI Acquisition on October 1, 2021, we were externally managed by our former advisor and relied on its employees, and our executive officers were all employees of one of our former co-sponsors. As of October 1, 2021, as a result of the Merger and the AHI Acquisition, we became self-managed and as of December 31, 2021, we have approximately 100 employees.
We believe our employees are our greatest asset, and we pride ourselves on the diversity they bring to our company. Because of this, we have implemented a number of programs to foster not only their professional growth, but also their growth as global citizens. All of our employees are provided with a comprehensive benefits and wellness package, which may include high-quality medical, dental and vision insurance, life insurance, 401(k) matching, long-term incentive plans, educational grants, fitness programs and much more. We provide our employees, consultants and executive officers with competitive compensation and, where applicable, opportunities for equity ownership through our 2015 Incentive Plan, as amended. See Note 14, Equity — 2015 Incentive Plan, to the Consolidated Financial Statements that are part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for a further discussion.
We also believe that one of the keys to our success is our ability to benefit from a wide range of opinions and experiences. We believe the best way to accomplish this is through promoting racial, gender, and generational diversity across all layers of our organization. As of January 31, 2022, 69% of our employees are minorities and 67% are females. Generationally, our organization is composed of 43% Millennials, 47% Generation X, and 10% Baby Boomers.
Health and Safety
We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace. We continuously strive to meet or exceed compliance with all laws, regulations and accepted practices pertaining to workplace safety. All employees and contractors are required to comply with established safety policies, standards and procedures. As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, our focus remains on promoting employee health and safety and ensuring business continuity. Beginning in March 2020, our employees were instructed to work from home. As certain offices have reopened due to the lifting of local government restrictions, we have maintained a voluntary work-from-home policy, providing our people with valued flexibility. We have also substantially reduced employee travel to only essential business needs in favor of ongoing video-based meetings.
For our healthcare-related facilities operated pursuant to a RIDEA structure, which include our SHOP and integrated senior health campuses, we rely on each management company to attract and retain skilled personnel to provide services at our healthcare-related facilities. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, such management companies have put into place a number of health and safety measures to enable their employees to continue to work in our healthcare-related facilities, including the procurement and distribution of personal protective equipment and the implementation of daily employee and resident health screenings, vaccination clinics for employees and residents, as well as aggressive safety protocols in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, and local health agency guidelines to limit the exposure and spread of COVID-19. While the health and safety measures instituted by each management company have allowed facilities to operate during the pandemic, these facilities may face challenges created by workforce shortages and absenteeism due to COVID-19.
Investment Company Act Considerations
We conduct, and intend to continue to conduct, our operations, and the operations of our operating partnership and any other subsidiaries, so that no such entity meets the definition of an “investment company” under Section 3(a)(1) of the Investment Company Act. We primarily engage in the business of investing in real estate assets; however, our portfolio does include, to a much lesser extent, other real estate-related investments. We have also acquired, and may continue to acquire, real
estate assets through investments in joint venture entities, including joint venture entities in which we may not own a controlling interest. We anticipate that our assets generally will be held in wholly and majority-owned subsidiaries of the company, each formed to hold a particular asset. We monitor our operations and our assets on an ongoing basis in order to ensure that neither we, nor any of our subsidiaries, meet the definition of “investment company” under Section 3(a)(1) of the Investment Company Act. Among other things, we monitor the proportion of our portfolio that is placed in investments in securities.
Information About Industry Segments
We segregate our operations into reporting segments in order to assess the performance of our business in the same way that management reviews our performance and makes operating decisions. As of December 31, 2021, we operated through six reportable business segments — medical office buildings, integrated senior health campuses, skilled nursing facilities, SHOP, senior housing and hospitals.
Medical Office Buildings. As of December 31, 2021, we owned 105 medical office buildings, or MOBs. These properties typically contain physicians’ offices and examination rooms and may also include pharmacies, hospital ancillary service space and outpatient services such as diagnostic centers, rehabilitation clinics and day-surgery operating rooms. While these properties are similar to commercial office buildings, they require additional parking spaces as well as plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems to accommodate multiple exam rooms that may require sinks in every room and special equipment such as x-ray machines. In addition, MOBs are often built to accommodate higher structural loads for certain equipment and may contain other specialized construction. Our MOBs are typically multi-tenant properties leased to healthcare providers (hospitals and physician practices) for approximately three to 10 years with fixed annual escalations.
Skilled Nursing Facilities. As of December 31, 2021, we owned 17 skilled nursing facilities, or SNFs. Skilled nursing facility residents are generally higher acuity and need assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, and/or require assistance with medication and also require available 24-hour nursing care. SNFs offer restorative, rehabilitative and custodial nursing care for people not requiring the more extensive and sophisticated treatment available at hospitals. Ancillary revenues and revenues from sub-acute care services are derived from providing services to residents beyond room and board and include occupational, physical, speech, respiratory and intravenous therapy, wound care, oncology treatment, brain injury care, orthopedic therapy and other services. Certain SNFs provide some of the foregoing services on an out-patient basis. Skilled nursing services provided by our tenants in these SNFs are primarily paid for either by private sources or through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Our SNFs are leased to a single tenant under a triple-net lease structure with approximately 12 to 15 year terms and fixed annual rent escalations.
Senior Housing. As of December 31, 2021, we owned 20 senior housing facilities. Senior housing facilities cater to different segments of the elderly population based upon their personal needs, and include assisted living, memory care, and independent living. Residents of assisted living facilities typically require limited medical care and need assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, and/or medication management and those services can be provided by staff at the facility. Resident programs offered at such facilities may include transportation, social activities and exercise and fitness programs. Services provided by our tenants in these facilities are primarily paid for by the residents directly or through private insurance and are less reliant on government reimbursement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. Our senior housing facilities are leased to single tenants under triple-net lease structures, whereby the tenant is responsible for making rent payments, maintaining the properties and paying taxes and other expenses. Leases are typically 12 to 15 years with annual escalations and required lease coverage ratios.
SHOP. As of December 31, 2021, we owned and operated 47 senior housing facilities utilizing a RIDEA structure. Such facilities are of a similar property type as our senior housing segment discussed above; however, we have entered into agreements with healthcare operators to manage the facilities on our behalf utilizing a RIDEA structure. The healthcare operators we engage provide management and operational services at the facilities, and we retain the net earnings generated by the performance of each of the facilities after payment of the management fee and other operational and maintenance expenses. As a result, under a RIDEA structure we retain the upside from improved operational performance, and similarly the risk of any decline in performance. Substantially all of our leases with residents in the senior housing facilities are for a term of one year or less.
Integrated Senior Health Campuses. As of December 31, 2021, we owned and/or operated 122 integrated senior health campuses, predominantly all of which are operated utilizing a RIDEA structure. Integrated senior health campuses include a range of senior care, including assisted living, memory care, independent living, skilled nursing services and certain ancillary businesses. Services provided in these facilities are primarily paid for by the residents directly or through private insurance and are less reliant on government reimbursement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Hospitals. As of December 31, 2021, we owned two hospital buildings. Services provided by our operators and tenants in our hospitals are paid for by private sources, third-party payors (e.g., insurance and Health Maintenance Organizations), or through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. We expect that our hospital properties typically will include acute care, long-term acute care, specialty and rehabilitation hospitals and generally will be leased to single tenants or operators under triple-net lease structures.
For a further discussion of our segment reporting for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, see Item 2, Properties, Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and Note 19, Segment Reporting, to the Consolidated Financial Statements that are a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Risk Factor Summary
Our business, financial condition and results of operations are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. Below is a summary of the principal factors that make an investment in our common stock speculative or risky. This summary does not address all of the risks that we face and should be read in conjunction with the full risk factors contained below in this “Risk Factors” section in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
•There is no public market for shares of our common stock, making it difficult for stockholders to sell their shares.
•Distributions paid using borrowings or other sources in anticipation of cash flows may negatively impact the value of our stockholders’ investment.
•The estimated value per share of our common stock may not accurately reflect the fair value of our assets and liabilities.
•The prior performance of other programs may not accurately predict our ability to achieve our investment objectives or our future results.
•Our success is dependent on our key personnel who face conflicts of interest for their time and fiduciary duties.
•We are not obligated to effectuate a liquidity event; therefore, our stockholders may have to hold their investment in shares of our common stock for an indefinite period of time.
•If we complete a liquidity event, the market value attributed to the shares of our common stock may be significantly lower than the current estimated per share NAV.
•Competition for the acquisition and disposition of healthcare-related facilities may reduce our profitability.
Risks Related to Our Business
•The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted, and will likely continue to adversely impact, our business and financial results.
•As a result of the recent Merger and AHI Acquisition, we internalized our management functions which could cause us to incur significant costs.
•Certain campuses managed by Trilogy Management Services, LLC, or TMS, account for a significant portion of our revenues/operating income, and it may be difficult to replace TMS if our management agreements are terminated.
•We may incur additional costs in re-leasing properties, which could adversely affect our cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure
•The ownership position of our stockholders was diluted by the Merger resulting in reduced stockholder influence over the management and policies of our company.
•Several potential events, our ability to issue preferred stock, and the percentage limit on shares of common stock that any person may own could cause our stockholders’ investment in us to be diluted or prevent a sale of our common stock.
•Maryland law prohibits certain business combinations, which may make it more difficult for us to be acquired and may limit or delay our stockholders’ ability to dispose of their shares of our common stock.
•If we become subject to registration under the Investment Company Act, we may not be able to continue our business.
Risks Related to Investments in Real Estate
•Uncertain market conditions could lead our acquired real estate investments to decrease in value or may cause us to sell our properties at a loss in the future.
•A high concentration of our properties in a particular geographic area would magnify the effects of downturns in that geographic area.
•Our business, tenants, residents and operators may face litigation and experience rising liability and insurance costs, which may adversely affect our financial condition.
•Most of our costs are subject to inflation.
•Delays in the acquisition, development, disposition and construction of real properties may have adverse effects on our results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
•Our earnest money deposits made to certain development companies may not be fully refunded.
•Our stockholders may not receive any profits resulting from the sale of our properties, and representations made by us in connection with sales of our properties may subject us to liability.
•We face possible liability for environmental cleanup costs and damages for contamination related to properties we acquire.
•Our real estate investments may be too heavily concentrated in certain segments.
Risks Related to the Healthcare Industry
•Our tenants and operators are subject to regulation and oversight unique to the healthcare industry.
•Our tenants may be unable to make rent payments to us because of reductions in reimbursement from third-party payors and/or changes in the healthcare industry or regulations.
•Seniors delaying moving to senior housing facilities until they require greater care or forgoing moving to senior housing facilities altogether could have a material adverse effect on our business.
•Events that adversely affect the ability of seniors and their families to afford resident fees at our senior housing facilities could cause a decline in our occupancy rates, revenues and results of operations.
•Adverse trends in healthcare provider operations may negatively affect our lease revenues.
•We, our tenants and our operators for our skilled nursing, senior housing and integrated senior health campuses may be subject to various government reviews, audits and investigations that could adversely affect our business.
Risks Related to Debt Financing
•To the extent we borrow at fixed rates or enter into fixed interest rate swaps, we will not benefit from reduced interest expense if interest rates decrease.
•Lenders may require us to enter into restrictive covenants relating to our operations, which could limit our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
•Changes in banks’ inter-bank lending rate reporting practices may adversely affect the value of financial obligations held or issued by us that are linked to LIBOR.
•Interest-only indebtedness may increase our risk of default, adversely affect our ability to refinance or sell properties and eventually may reduce our funds available for distribution to our stockholders.
Risks Related to Real Estate-Related Investments
•Unfavorable real estate market conditions and delays in liquidating defaulted mortgage loan investments may negatively impact mortgage loans we have invested and may invest in.
•We expect a portion of our real estate-related investments to be illiquid and we may not be able to adjust our portfolio in response to changes in economic and other conditions.
•If we liquidate prior to the maturity of our real estate-related investments, we may be forced to sell those investments on unfavorable terms or at a loss.
Risks Related to Joint Ventures
•Property ownership through joint ventures could limit our control and the amount we participate in the cash flows of those investments.
Risks Related to Taxes and Our REIT Status
•Failure to maintain our qualification as a REIT for federal income tax purposes would subject us to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates, which would substantially reduce our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
•Legislative or regulatory tax changes could adversely affect investors.
•Failure of the REIT Merger to qualify as a tax-free reorganization would result in adverse tax consequences.
There is no public market for the shares of our common stock. Therefore, it will be difficult for our stockholders to sell their shares of our common stock and, if our stockholders are able to sell their shares of our common stock, they will likely sell them at a substantial discount.
There currently is no public market for the shares of our common stock. We do not expect a public market for our stock to develop prior to the listing of the shares of our common stock on a national securities exchange, which may not occur in the near future or at all. Additionally, our charter contains restrictions on the ownership and transfer of shares of our stock and these restrictions may inhibit our stockholders’ ability to sell their shares of our common stock. Our charter provides that no person may own more than 9.9% in value of our issued and outstanding shares of capital stock or more than 9.9% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the issued and outstanding shares of our common stock. Any purported transfer of the shares of our common stock that would result in a violation of either of these limits will result in such shares being transferred to a trust for the benefit of a charitable beneficiary or such transfer being declared null and void. We have
adopted a share repurchase plan, but it is limited in terms of the amount of shares of our common stock which may be repurchased annually, is subject to our board’s discretion and is currently suspended except with respect to requests resulting from the death or qualifying disability of stockholders. As such, it will be difficult for our stockholders to sell their shares of our common stock promptly or at all. If our stockholders are able to sell their shares of our common stock, our stockholders may only be able to sell them to an unrelated third party at a substantial discount from the price they paid. This may be the result, in part, of the fact that, at the time we made our investments, the amount of funds available for investment were reduced by up to 12.0% of the gross offering proceeds, which amounts were used to pay selling commissions, a dealer manager fee and other organizational and offering expenses. We also were required to use gross offering proceeds to pay acquisition fees, acquisition expenses and asset management fees. Unless our aggregate investments increase in value to compensate for these fees and expenses, which may not occur, it is unlikely that our stockholders will be able to sell their shares of our common stock, whether pursuant to our share repurchase plan or otherwise, without incurring a substantial loss. We cannot assure our stockholders that their shares of our common stock will ever appreciate in value to equal the price our stockholders paid for their shares of our common stock. Therefore, shares of our common stock should be considered illiquid and a long-term investment and our stockholders must be prepared to hold their shares of our common stock for an indefinite length of time.
We have paid a portion of distributions from the net proceeds of the initial offering and borrowings, and in the future, may continue to pay distributions from borrowings or from other sources in anticipation of future cash flows. Any such distributions may reduce the amount of capital we ultimately invest in assets and may negatively impact the value of our stockholders’ investment.
We have used the net proceeds from the initial offering, borrowings and certain fees payable to our former advisor which have been waived, and in the future, may use borrowed funds or other sources, to pay cash distributions to our stockholders, which may reduce the amount of proceeds available for investment and operations, cause us to incur additional interest expense as a result of borrowed funds or cause subsequent investors to experience dilution. Further, if the aggregate amount of cash distributed in any given year exceeds the amount of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, the excess amount will be deemed a return of capital. Therefore, distributions payable to our stockholders may partially include a return of capital, rather than a return on capital, and we have paid a portion of our distributions from the net proceeds of the initial offering. We have not established any limit on the amount of net proceeds from the initial offering or borrowings that may be used to fund distributions, except that, in accordance with our organizational documents and Maryland law, we may not make distributions that would: (i) cause us to be unable to pay our debts as they become due in the usual course of business; or (ii) cause our total assets to be less than the sum of our total liabilities plus senior liquidation preferences. The actual amount and timing of distributions is determined by our board, in its sole discretion and typically depends on the amount of funds available for distribution, which depend on items such as our financial condition, current and projected capital expenditure requirements, tax considerations and annual distribution requirements needed to maintain our qualification as a REIT. As a result, our distribution rate and payment frequency have varied, and may continue to vary, from time to time.
Prior to March 31, 2020, the GAHR IV board of directors authorized, on a quarterly basis, a daily distribution to its stockholders of record as of the close of business on each day of the period commencing on May 1, 2016 and ending on March 31, 2020. The daily distributions were calculated based on 365 days in the calendar year and were equal to $0.001643836 per share of GAHR IV’s Class T and Class I common stock, which is equal to an annualized distribution rate of $0.60 per share. These distributions were aggregated and paid monthly in arrears in cash or shares of common stock pursuant to the DRIP Offerings, only from legally available funds.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on GAHR IV’s business and operations, the GAHR IV board of directors decided to take steps to protect GAHR IV’s capital and maximize GAHR IV’s liquidity in an effort to strengthen GAHR IV’s long-term financial prospects. Consequently, on March 31, 2020, the GAHR IV board of directors authorized a reduced distribution to its stockholders which is payable monthly in arrears only from legally available funds and equal to an annualized distribution rate of $0.40 per share, a decrease from the annualized distribution rate of $0.60 per share previously paid by GAHR IV. On October 4, 2021, our board reinstated the DRIP. As a result of the reinstatement of the DRIP, beginning with the October 2021 distribution, stockholders who previously enrolled as participants in the DRIP will receive distributions in shares of our common stock pursuant to the terms of the DRIP, instead of cash distributions. See our Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on October 5, 2021 for more information.
The estimated value per share of our common stock may not be an accurate reflection of fair value of our assets and liabilities and likely will not represent the amount of net proceeds that would result if we were liquidated, dissolved or completed a merger or other sale of our company. Additionally, between valuations it may be difficult to accurately reflect material events that may impact our estimated per share NAV.
On March 24, 2022, our board, at the recommendation of the audit committee of our board, comprised solely of independent directors, unanimously approved and established an updated estimated per share NAV of our common stock of $9.29. We provide this updated estimated per share NAV to assist broker-dealers in connection with their obligations under Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, Rule 2231, with respect to customer account statements. The valuation was
performed in accordance with the methodology provided in the Practice Guideline 2013-01, Valuations of Publicly Registered Non-Listed REITs, issued by the Institute for Portfolio Alternatives, or the IPA, in April 2013, in addition to guidance from the SEC.
The updated estimated per share NAV was determined after consultation with an independent third-party valuation firm, the engagement of which was approved by the audit committee of our board. FINRA rules provide no guidance on the methodology an issuer must use to determine its estimated per share NAV. As with any valuation methodology, our independent valuation firm’s methodology was based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that may not have been accurate or complete. Different parties with different assumptions and estimates could derive a different estimated per share NAV, and these differences could be significant.
The updated estimated per share NAV was not audited or reviewed by our independent registered public accounting firm and did not represent the fair value of our assets or liabilities according to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, or GAAP. In addition, the updated estimated per share NAV was an estimate as of a given point in time and the value of our shares will fluctuate over time as a result of, among other things, developments related to individual assets and changes in the real estate and capital markets. Accordingly, with respect to the updated estimated per share NAV, we can give no assurance that:
•a stockholder would be able to resell his or her shares at our updated estimated per share NAV;
•a stockholder would ultimately realize distributions per share equal to our updated estimated per share NAV upon liquidation of our assets and settlement of our liabilities or a sale of our company;
•our shares of common stock would trade at our updated estimated per share NAV on a national securities exchange;
•an independent third-party appraiser or other third-party valuation firm, other than the third-party valuation firm engaged by our board to assist in its determination of the updated estimated per share NAV, would agree with our estimated per share NAV; or
•the methodology used to estimate our updated per share NAV would be acceptable to FINRA or comply with reporting requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, the Code, other applicable law, or the applicable provisions of a retirement plan or individual retirement account, or IRA.
Further, our board is ultimately responsible for determining the estimated per share NAV. Our independent valuation firm calculates estimates of the value of our assets, and our board then determines the net value of assets and liabilities taking into consideration such estimate provided by the independent valuation firm. Since our board generally determines our estimated per share NAV at least annually, there may be changes in the value of our assets that are not fully reflected in the updated estimated per share NAV. As a result, the published estimated per share NAV may not fully reflect changes in value that may have occurred since the prior valuation. Furthermore, we will monitor our portfolio, but it has been, and may continue to be, difficult to reflect changing market conditions or material events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, that may impact the value of our portfolio between valuations, or to obtain timely or complete information regarding any such events. Therefore, the estimated per share NAV published before and during the announcement of an extraordinary event may differ significantly from our actual per share NAV until such time as sufficient information is available and analyzed, the financial impact is fully evaluated, and the appropriate adjustment is made to our estimated per share NAV, as determined by our board.
For a full description of the methodologies used to value our assets and liabilities in connection with the calculation of the updated estimated per share NAV, see our Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on March 25, 2022.
We have experienced losses in the past and we may experience additional losses in the future.
Historically, we have experienced net losses (calculated in accordance with GAAP) and we may not be profitable or realize growth in the value of our investments. Many of our losses can be attributed to start-up costs, general and administrative expenses, depreciation and amortization, as well as acquisition expenses incurred in connection with purchasing properties or making other investments. For a further discussion of our operational history and the factors affecting our losses, see Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and our Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto.
Our prior performance may not be an accurate predictor of our ability to achieve our investment objectives or our future results.
We were formed in January 2015 and did not engage in any material business operations prior to the effective date of the initial offering. As a result, an investment in shares of our common stock may entail more risks than the shares of common stock of a REIT with a more substantial operating history. In addition, our stockholders should not rely on our past performance to predict our future results. Our stockholders should consider our prospects in light of the risks, uncertainties and difficulties frequently encountered by companies like ours that do not have a substantial operating history, many of which may be beyond our control. For example, due to challenging economic conditions in the past, distributions to stockholders were reduced. Therefore, to be successful in this market, we must, among other things:
•identify and acquire investments that further our investment strategy;
•attract, integrate, motivate and retain qualified personnel to manage our day-to-day operations;
•respond to competition both for investment opportunities and potential investors’ investment in us; and
•build and expand our operational structure to support our business.
We cannot guarantee that we will succeed in achieving these goals, and our failure to do so could adversely affect our results of operations and cause our stockholders to lose all or a portion of their investment and adversely affect our results of operations.
Our success is dependent on the performance and continued contributions of certain of our key personnel and, in the event they are no longer affiliated with us, our operating results could suffer.
Our success depends to a significant degree upon the continued contributions of our executives and key officers, in particular, Danny Prosky and Mathieu B. Streiff, each of whom would be difficult to replace. Messrs. Prosky and Streiff currently serve as our executive officers and directors. In the event that Messrs. Prosky or Streiff are no longer affiliated with us, for any reason, it could have a material adverse effect on our success and we may not be able to attract and hire equally capable individuals to replace Messrs. Prosky and/or Streiff. If we were to lose the benefit of the experience, efforts and abilities of one or more of these individuals, our operating results could suffer.
We may not effect a liquidity event within any targeted time frame, or at all. If we do not effect a liquidity event, our stockholders may have to hold their investment in shares of our common stock for an indefinite period of time.
Although we are currently positioning our company for a potential future listing on a national securities exchange at an opportune time, we are not obligated, through our charter or otherwise, to effectuate a transaction or liquidity event and may not effectuate a transaction or liquidity event within any time frame or at all. If we do not effectuate a transaction or liquidity event, it will be very difficult for our stockholders to have liquidity for their investment in the shares of our common stock other than limited liquidity through our share repurchase plan, if our share repurchase plan is fully reinstated by our board.
If and when we complete a liquidity event, the market value ascribed to our shares of common stock upon the liquidity event may be significantly lower than the current estimated per share NAV.
In the event that we complete a liquidity event, such as a listing of our shares on a national securities exchange, a merger in which our stockholders receive securities that are listed on a national securities exchange, or a sale for cash, the market value of our shares upon consummation of such liquidity event may be significantly lower than the current estimated per share NAV of our common stock that may be reflected on the account statements of our stockholders. For example, if our shares are listed on a national securities exchange, the trading price of the shares may be significantly lower than the most recent estimated per share NAV of our common stock of $9.29 as of December 31, 2021.
Our results of operations, our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders and our ability to dispose of our investments are subject to international, national and local economic factors we cannot control or predict.
Our results of operations are subject to the risks of an international or national economic slowdown or downturn and other changes in international, national and local economic conditions. The following factors may have affected, and may continue to affect, income from our properties, our ability to acquire and dispose of properties, and yields from our properties:
•poor economic times may result in defaults by tenants of our properties due to bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, or operational failures. We have provided an insignificant number of rent concessions, and may continue to provide rent concessions, tenant improvement expenditures or reduced rental rates to maintain or increase occupancy levels;
•fluctuations in property values as a result of increases or decreases in supply and demand, occupancies and rental rates may cause the properties that we own to decrease in value. Consequently, we may not be able to recover the carrying amount of our properties, which may require us to recognize an impairment charge or record a loss on sale in earnings;
•reduced values of our properties may limit our ability to dispose of assets at attractive prices or to obtain debt financing secured by our properties and may reduce the availability of unsecured loans;
•constricted access to credit may result in tenant defaults or non-renewals under leases;
•layoffs may lead to a lower demand for medical services and cause vacancies to increase and a lack of future population and job growth may make it difficult to maintain or increase occupancy levels;
•future disruptions in the financial markets, deterioration in economic conditions or a public health crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have resulted, and may continue to result, in lower occupancy in our facilities, increased vacancy rates for commercial real estate due to generally lower demand for rentable space, as well as an oversupply of rentable space;
•governmental actions and initiatives, including risks associated with the impact of a prolonged government shutdown or budgetary reductions or impasses; and
•increased insurance premiums, real estate taxes or utilities or other expenses, such as inflation costs, may reduce funds available for distribution or, to the extent such increases are passed through to tenants, may lead to tenant defaults. Also, any such increased expenses may make it difficult to increase rents to tenants on turnover, which may limit our ability to increase our returns.
The length and severity of any economic slowdown or downturn cannot be predicted with confidence at this time. Our results of operations, our ability to continue to pay distributions to our stockholders and our ability to dispose of our investments have been, and we expect may continue to be, negatively impacted to the extent an economic slowdown or downturn is prolonged or becomes more severe.
We face competition for the acquisition and disposition of MOBs, hospitals, SNFs, senior housing and other healthcare-related facilities, which may impede our ability to take, and increase the cost of, such actions, which may reduce our profitability and cause our stockholders to experience a lower return on their investment.
We face significant competition from other entities engaged in real estate investment activities for acquisitions and dispositions of MOBs, hospitals, SNFs, senior housing and other healthcare-related facilities, some of whom may have greater resources and lower costs of capital than we do. Increased competition makes it more challenging for us to identify and successfully capitalize on opportunities that meet our business goals and could improve the bargaining power of us and other property owners seeking to sell, thereby impeding our investment, acquisition and disposition activities. If we pay higher prices per property or receive lower prices for dispositions of our MOBs, hospitals, SNFs, senior housing or other healthcare-related facilities as a result of such competition, our business, financial condition, results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders may be materially and adversely affected and our stockholders may experience a lower return on their investment.
Risks Related to Our Business
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted, and will likely continue to adversely impact, our business and financial results, and the ultimate impact will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including the scope and duration of the pandemic and actions taken by governmental authorities in response to the pandemic.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related shelter-in-place, business re-opening and quarantine restrictions, our property values, net operating income, or NOI, and revenues may decline, and our tenants, operating partners and managers have been, and may continue to be, limited in their ability to generate income, service patients and residents and/or properly manage our properties. In addition, based on preliminary information available to management as of March 4, 2022, we have experienced an approximate 11.9% decline in resident occupancies at our SHOP since February 2020, as well as a significant increase in costs for residents, at both our SHOP and our integrated senior health campuses. Our leased senior housing and skilled nursing facility tenants have also experienced, and may continue to experience, similar pressures related to occupancy declines and expense increases, which may impact their ability to pay rent and have an adverse effect on our operations. Given the significant uncertainty of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to predict the impact it will have on such tenants’ continued ability to pay rent. Therefore, information provided regarding prior rent collections should not serve as an indication of expected future rent collections. As such, our immediate focus continues to be on resident occupancy recovery and operating expense management.
The emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants and other new variants may put additional pressure on our operations. Additionally, the public perception of a risk of a pandemic or media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and related deaths or confirmed cases, or public perception of health risks linked to perceived regional healthcare safety in our senior housing or SNFs, particularly if focused on regions in which our properties are located, may adversely affect our business operations by reducing occupancy demand at our facilities. We have also held discussions with our tenants, operating partners and managers and they have expressed that the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations is uncertain.
Although vaccines for COVID-19 that have been approved for use are generally effective, vaccine boosters may be necessary and there can be no assurance that efforts to vaccinate the public will be successful in ending the pandemic or that vaccines will be effective against current and future COVID-19 variants. The rapid development and fluidity of this situation continues to preclude any prediction as to the ultimate adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic and market conditions, and, as a result, present material uncertainty and risk with respect to us and the performance of our investments. The full extent of the impact and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on future developments, including, among other factors, the success of efforts to contain or treat COVID-19 and its variants, the use and distribution of effective vaccines and availability of such vaccines and vaccine boosters, potential resurgences of COVID-19, along with the related travel advisories, quarantines and business restrictions, the recovery time of the disrupted supply chains and industries, the impact of the labor market interruptions, the impact of government interventions, and the performance or valuation outlook for healthcare REIT markets and certain property types. The COVID-19 pandemic and the current financial, economic and capital markets environment, and future developments in these and other areas present uncertainty and risk and have had an adverse effect on us and may have a material adverse effect on us in the future.
As a result of the AHI Acquisition, we are newly self-managed.
As a result of the Merger and the AHI Acquisition, we are a self-managed REIT. We will no longer bear the costs of the various fees and expense reimbursements previously paid to the former external advisors of GAHR III and GAHR IV and their affiliates; however, our expenses will include the compensation and benefits of our officers, employees and consultants, as well as overhead previously paid by the former external advisors of GAHR III and GAHR IV and their affiliates. Our employees will provide services historically provided by our former external advisors and their affiliates. We are now subject to potential liabilities that are commonly faced by employers, such as workers’ disability and compensation claims, potential labor disputes, and other employee-related liabilities and grievances, and we will bear the cost of the establishment and maintenance of any employee compensation plans. In addition, we have not previously operated as a self-managed REIT and may encounter unforeseen costs, expenses and difficulties associated with providing these services on a self-advised basis. If we incur unexpected expenses as a result of our self-management, our results of operations could be lower than they otherwise would have been.
We are uncertain of all of our sources of debt or equity for funding our capital needs. If we cannot obtain funding on acceptable terms, our ability to acquire, and make necessary capital improvements to, properties may be impaired or delayed.
We have not identified all of our sources of debt or equity for funding, and such sources of funding may not be available to us on favorable terms or at all. If we do not have access to sufficient funding in the future, we may not be able to acquire, and make necessary capital improvements to, properties, pay other expenses or expand our business.
We use mortgage indebtedness and other borrowings, which may increase our business risks, could hinder our ability to pay distributions and could decrease the value of our stockholders’ investment.
We have financed, and will continue to finance, all or a portion of the purchase price of our investments in real estate and real estate-related investments by borrowing funds. In addition, we may incur mortgage debt and pledge some or all of our real properties as security for that debt to obtain funds to acquire additional real properties or for working capital. Furthermore, we may borrow if we otherwise deem it necessary or advisable to ensure that we maintain our qualification as a REIT for federal income tax purposes.
High debt levels may cause us to incur higher interest charges, which would result in higher debt service payments and could be accompanied by restrictive covenants. If there is a shortfall between the cash flows from a property and the cash flows needed to service mortgage debt on that property, then the amount available for distributions to our stockholders may be reduced. In addition, incurring mortgage debt increases the risk of loss since defaults on indebtedness secured by a property may result in lenders initiating foreclosure actions. In that case, we could lose the property securing the loan that is in default, thus reducing the value of our stockholders’ investment. In addition, lenders may have recourse to assets other than those specifically securing the repayment of indebtedness. For tax purposes, a foreclosure on any of our properties will be treated as a sale of the property for a purchase price equal to the outstanding balance of the debt secured by the mortgage. If the outstanding balance of the debt secured by the mortgage exceeds our tax basis in the property, we will recognize taxable income on foreclosure, but we would not receive any cash proceeds. We may give full or partial guarantees to lenders of mortgage debt to the entities that own our properties. When we give a guaranty on behalf of an entity that owns one of our properties, we will be
responsible to the lender for satisfaction of the debt if it is not paid by such entity. If any mortgage contains cross-collateralization or cross-default provisions, a default on a single property could affect multiple properties. If any of our properties are foreclosed upon due to a default, our ability to pay cash distributions to our stockholders will be adversely affected.
We are dependent on tenants for our revenue, and lease terminations could reduce our distributions to our stockholders.
The successful performance of our real estate investments is materially dependent on the financial stability of our tenants. Lease payment defaults by tenants would cause us to lose the revenue associated with such leases and could cause us to reduce the amount of distributions to our stockholders. If a property is subject to a mortgage, a default by a significant tenant on its lease payments to us may result in a foreclosure on the property if we are unable to find an alternative source of revenue to meet mortgage payments. In the event of a tenant default, we may experience delays in enforcing our rights as landlord and may incur substantial costs in protecting our investment and re-leasing our property. Further, we cannot assure our stockholders that we will be able to re-lease the property for the rent previously received, if at all, or that lease terminations will not cause us to sell the property at a loss.
The integrated senior health campuses managed by TMS account for a significant portion of our revenues and/or operating income. Adverse developments in TMS’s business or financial condition could have a material adverse effect on us.
As of March 25, 2022, TMS managed all of the day-to-day operations for our integrated senior health campuses pursuant to long-term management agreements. These integrated senior health campuses represent a substantial portion of our portfolio, based on their gross book value, and account for a significant portion of our revenues and/or NOI. Although we have various rights as the owner of these integrated senior health campuses under our management agreements, we rely on TMS’s personnel, expertise, technical resources and information systems, proprietary information, good faith and judgment to manage our integrated senior health campuses operations efficiently and effectively, and to identify and manage development opportunities for new integrated senior health campuses. We also rely on TMS to provide accurate campus-level financial results for our integrated senior health campuses in a timely manner and to otherwise operate our integrated senior health campuses in compliance with the terms of our management agreements and all applicable laws and regulations. We depend on TMS’s ability to attract and retain skilled personnel to provide these services. A shortage of nurses or other trained personnel or general inflationary pressures may force TMS to enhance its pay and benefits package to compete effectively for such personnel, but it may not be able to offset these added costs by increasing the rates charged to residents. As such, any adverse developments in TMS’s business or financial condition, including its ability to retain key personnel, could impair its ability to manage our integrated senior health campuses efficiently and effectively and could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, if TMS experiences any significant financial, legal, accounting or regulatory difficulties due to a weak economy, industry downturn or otherwise, such difficulties could result in, among other adverse events, acceleration of its indebtedness, impairment of its continued access to capital, the enforcement of default remedies by its counterparties, or the commencement of insolvency proceedings by or against it under the United States Bankruptcy Code. Any one or a combination of these risks could have a material adverse effect on us.
In the event that our management agreements with TMS are terminated or not renewed, we may be unable to replace TMS with another suitable manager, or, if we were successful in locating such a manager, that it would manage the integrated senior health campuses effectively or that any such transition would be completed timely, which may have a material adverse effect on us.
We continually monitor and assess our contractual rights and remedies under our management agreements with TMS. When determining whether to pursue any existing or future rights or remedies under those agreements, including termination rights, we consider numerous factors, including legal, contractual, regulatory, business and other relevant considerations. In the event that we exercise our rights to terminate management agreements with TMS for any reason or such agreements are not renewed upon expiration of their terms, we would attempt to reposition the affected integrated senior health campuses with another manager. Although we believe that many qualified national and regional operators would be interested in managing our integrated senior health campuses, we cannot provide any assurance that we would be able to locate another suitable manager or, if we were successful in locating such a manager, that it would manage the integrated senior health campuses effectively or that any such transition would be completed timely. Any such transition would likely result in disruption of the operation of such facilities, including matters relating to staffing and reporting. Moreover, the transition to a replacement manager may require approval by the applicable regulatory authorities and, in most cases, one or more of our lenders including the mortgage lenders for the integrated senior health campuses, and we cannot provide any assurance that such approvals would be granted on a timely basis, if at all. Any inability to replace, or delay in replacing TMS as the manager of integrated senior health campuses could have a material adverse effect on us.
The financial deterioration, insolvency or bankruptcy of one or more of our major tenants, operators, borrowers, managers and other obligors could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
A downturn in any of our tenants’, operators’, borrowers’, managers’ or other obligors’ businesses could ultimately lead to voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy or similar insolvency proceedings, including but not limited to assignment for the benefit of creditors, liquidation or winding-up. Bankruptcy and insolvency laws afford certain rights to a defaulting tenant, operator, borrower or manager that has filed for bankruptcy or reorganization that may render certain of our remedies unenforceable or, at the least, delay our ability to pursue such remedies and realize any related recoveries. A debtor has the right to assume, or to assume and assign to a third party, or to reject its executory contracts and unexpired leases in a bankruptcy proceeding. If a debtor were to reject its leases with us, obligations under such rejected leases would cease. The claim against the rejecting debtor would be an unsecured claim, which would be limited by the statutory cap set forth in the United States Bankruptcy Code. This statutory cap may be substantially less than the remaining rent actually owed under the lease. In addition, a debtor may also assert in bankruptcy proceedings that leases should be re-characterized as financing agreements, which could result in our being deemed a lender instead of a landlord. A lender’s rights and remedies, as compared to a landlord’s, generally are materially less favorable, and our rights as a lender may be subordinated to other creditors’ rights.
Furthermore, the automatic stay provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code would preclude us from enforcing our remedies unless we first obtain relief from the court having jurisdiction over the bankruptcy case. This would effectively limit or delay our ability to collect unpaid rent or interest payments, and we may ultimately not receive any payment at all. In addition, we would likely be required to fund certain expenses and obligations to preserve the value of our properties, avoid the imposition of liens on our properties or transition our properties to a new tenant, operator or manager. Additionally, we lease many of our properties to healthcare providers who provide long-term custodial care to the elderly. Evicting operators or managers for failure to pay rent while the property is occupied typically involves specific procedural or regulatory requirements and may not be successful. Even if eviction is possible, we may determine not to do so due to reputational or other risks. Bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings typically also result in increased costs to the operator or manager, significant management distraction and performance declines. If we are unable to transition affected properties, they would likely experience prolonged operational disruption, leading to lower occupancy rates and further depressed revenues. Publicity about the operator’s or manager’s financial condition and bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings may also negatively impact their and our reputations, decreasing customer demand and revenues. Any or all of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, results of operations and cash flows.
We may incur additional costs in re-leasing properties, which could adversely affect the cash available for future distribution to our stockholders.
Some of the properties we have acquired and will seek to acquire are healthcare properties designed or built primarily for a particular tenant of a specific type of use known as a single-user facility. If we or our tenants terminate the leases for these properties or our tenants default on their lease obligations or lose their regulatory authority to operate such properties, we may not be able to locate suitable replacement tenants to lease the properties for their specialized uses. Alternatively, we may be required to spend substantial amounts to adapt the properties to other uses or incur other significant re-leasing costs. Any loss of revenues or additional capital expenditures required as a result may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay future distributions to our stockholders.
We may be unable to secure funds for future tenant or other capital improvements, which could limit our ability to attract, replace or retain tenants and decrease our stockholders’ return on investment.
When tenants do not renew their leases or otherwise vacate their space, in order to attract replacement tenants, we have expended, and may be required to expend in the future, substantial funds for tenant improvements and leasing commissions related to the vacated space. Such tenant improvements have required, and may continue to require, us to incur substantial capital expenditures. If we have not established capital reserves for such tenant or other capital improvements, we will have to obtain financing from other sources and we have not identified any sources for such financing. We may also have future financing needs for other capital improvements to refurbish or renovate our properties. If we need to secure financing sources for tenant improvements or other capital improvements in the future, but are unable to secure such financing or are unable to secure financing on terms we feel are acceptable, we may be unable to make tenant and other capital improvements or we may be required to defer such improvements. If this happens, it may cause one or more of our properties to suffer from a greater risk of obsolescence or a decline in value, or a greater risk of decreased cash flows as a result of fewer potential tenants being attracted to the property or our existing tenants not renewing their leases. If we do not have access to sufficient funding in the future, we may not be able to make necessary capital improvements to our properties, pay other expenses or pay distributions to our stockholders.
Our use of derivative financial instruments to hedge against foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations could expose us to risks that may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
We have used, and may continue to use, derivative financial instruments to hedge against foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, in which case we would be exposed to credit risk and legal enforceability risks. In this context, credit risk is the failure of the counterparty to perform under the terms of the derivative contract. If the fair value of a derivative contract is positive, the counterparty owes us, which creates credit risk for us. Legal enforceability risks encompass general contractual risks, including the risk that the counterparty will breach the terms of, or fail to perform its obligations under, the derivative contract. If we are unable to manage these risks effectively, our results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay distributions to our stockholders will be adversely affected.
A breach of information technology systems on which we rely could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation.
We and our operators rely on information technology systems, including the Internet and networks and systems maintained and controlled by third-party vendors and other third parties, to process, transmit and store information and to manage or support our business processes. Third-party vendors collect and hold personally identifiable information and other confidential information of our tenants, patients, stockholders and employees. We also maintain confidential financial and business information regarding us and persons and entities with which we do business on our information technology systems. While we and our operators take steps to protect the security of the information maintained in our information technology systems, including the use of commercially available systems, software, tools and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmitting and storing of the information, it is possible that such security measures will not be able to prevent human error or the systems’ improper functioning, or the loss, misappropriation, disclosure or corruption of personally identifiable information or other confidential or sensitive information, including information about our tenants and employees. Cybersecurity breaches, including physical or electronic break-ins, computer viruses, phishing scams, attacks by hackers, breaches due to employee error or misconduct, and similar breaches, can create, and in some instances in the past resulted in, system disruptions, shutdowns or unauthorized access to information maintained on our information technology systems or the information technology systems of our third-party vendors or other third parties or otherwise cause disruption or negative impacts to occur to our business and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. While we and most of our operators maintain cyber risk insurance to provide some coverage for certain risks arising out of cybersecurity breaches, there is no assurance that such insurance would cover all or a significant portion of the costs or consequences associated with a cybersecurity breach. As our reliance on technology increases, so will the risks posed to our information systems, both internal and those we outsource. In addition, as the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access to information technology systems become more varied and sophisticated and the occurrence of such breaches becomes more frequent, we and our third-party vendors and other third parties may be unable to adequately anticipate these techniques or breaches and implement appropriate preventative measures. There is no guarantee that any processes, procedures and internal controls we have implemented or will implement will prevent cyber intrusions. Any failure to prevent cybersecurity breaches and maintain the proper function, security and availability of our or our third-party vendors’ and other third parties’ information technology systems could interrupt our operations, damage our reputation and brand, damage our competitive position, make it difficult for us to attract and retain tenants, and subject us to liability claims or regulatory penalties, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure
Several potential events could cause our stockholders’ investment in us to be diluted, which may reduce the overall value of our stockholders’ investment.
Our stockholders’ investment in us could be diluted by a number of factors, including:
•future offerings of our securities, including issuances pursuant to the DRIP and up to 200,000,000 shares of any class or series of preferred stock that our board may authorize;
•private issuances of our securities to other investors, including institutional investors;
•issuances of our securities pursuant to our incentive plan; or
•redemptions of units of limited partnership interest in our operating partnership in exchange for shares of our common stock.
To the extent we issue additional equity interests, current stockholders’ percentage ownership interest in us will be diluted. In addition, depending upon the terms and pricing of any additional offerings and the value of our real estate and real estate-related investments, our stockholders may also experience dilution in the book value and fair market value of their shares of our common stock.
Our ability to issue preferred stock may include a preference in distributions superior to our common stock and also may deter or prevent a sale of shares of our common stock in which our stockholders could profit.
Our charter authorizes our board to issue up to 200,000,000 shares of preferred stock. Our board has the discretion to establish the preferences and rights, including a preference in distributions superior to our common stockholders, of any issued preferred stock. If we authorize and issue preferred stock with a distribution preference over our common stock, payment of any distribution preferences of outstanding preferred stock would reduce the amount of funds available for the payment of distributions on our common stock. Further, holders of preferred stock are normally entitled to receive a preference payment in the event we liquidate, dissolve or wind up before any payment is made to our common stockholders, likely reducing the amount our common stockholders would otherwise receive upon such an occurrence. In addition, under certain circumstances, the issuance of preferred stock or a separate class or series of common stock may render more difficult or tend to discourage:
•a merger, tender offer or proxy contest;
•assumption of control by a holder of a large block of our securities; or
•removal of incumbent management.
The limit on the percentage of shares of our common stock that any person may own may discourage a takeover or business combination that may have benefited our stockholders.
Our charter restricts the direct or indirect ownership by one person or entity to no more than 9.9% of the value of shares of our then outstanding capital stock (which includes common stock and any preferred stock we may issue) and no more than 9.9% of the value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our then outstanding common stock. This restriction may discourage a change of control of us and may deter individuals or entities from making tender offers for shares of our stock on terms that might be financially attractive to our stockholders or which may cause a change in our management. This ownership restriction may also prohibit business combinations that would have otherwise been approved by our board and our stockholders. In addition to deterring potential transactions that may be favorable to our stockholders, these provisions may also decrease our stockholders’ ability to sell their shares of our common stock.
Our stockholders’ ability to control our operations is severely limited.
Our board determines our major strategies, including our strategies regarding investments, financing, growth, debt capitalization, REIT qualification and distributions. Our board may amend or revise these and other strategies without a vote of the stockholders. Under our charter and Maryland law, our stockholders have a right to vote only on the following matters:
•the election or removal of directors;
•the amendment of our charter, except that our board may amend our charter without stockholder approval to change our name or the name of other designation or the par value of any class or series of our stock and the aggregate par value of our stock, increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series that we have the authority to issue, or effect certain reverse stock splits;
•our dissolution; and
•certain mergers, consolidations, conversions, statutory share exchanges and sales or other dispositions of all or substantially all of our assets.
All other matters are subject to the discretion of our board.
Conflicts of interest could arise as a result of our officers’ other positions and/or interests outside of our company.
We rely on our management for implementation of our policies and our day-to-day operations. Although a majority of their business time is spent working for our company, they may engage in other investment and business activities in which we have no economic interest. Their responsibilities to these other entities could result in action or inaction that is detrimental to our business, which could harm the implementation of our business strategy. They may face conflicts of interest in allocating time among us and their other business ventures and in meeting obligations to us and those other entities.
Maryland law prohibits certain business combinations, which may make it more difficult for us to be acquired and may limit or delay our stockholders’ ability to dispose of their shares of our common stock.
Certain provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law, or the MGCL, such as the business combination statute and the control share acquisition statute, are designed to prevent, or have the effect of preventing, someone from acquiring control of us. The MGCL prohibits “business combinations” between a Maryland corporation and:
•any person who beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 10.0% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock, which is referred to as an “interested stockholder”;
•an affiliate or associate of the corporation who, at any time within the two-year period prior to the date in question, was an interested stockholder; or
•an affiliate of an interested stockholder.
These prohibitions last for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder became an interested stockholder. Thereafter, any business combination with the interested stockholder or an affiliate of the interested stockholder must be recommended by the corporation’s board and approved by the affirmative vote of at least 80.0% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding shares of voting stock of the corporation, and two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting stock of the corporation other than shares of voting stock held by the interested stockholder. These requirements could have the effect of inhibiting a change in control even if a change in control were in our stockholders’ best interests.
Pursuant to the MGCL, our bylaws exempt us from the control share acquisition statute, which eliminates voting rights for certain levels of shares that could exercise control over us, and our board has adopted a resolution providing that any business combination between us and any other person is exempted from the business combination statute, provided that such business combination is first approved by our board. However, if the bylaws provisions exempting us from the control share acquisition statute or our board resolution opting out of the business combination statute were repealed in whole or in part at any time, these provisions of the MGCL could delay or prevent offers to acquire us and increase the difficulty of consummating any such offers, even if such a transaction would be in our stockholders’ best interest.
The MGCL and our organizational documents limit our stockholders’ right to bring claims against our officers and directors.
The MGCL provides that a director has no liability in such capacity if he or she performs his or her duties in good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the corporation’s best interests and with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. Our charter requires us, subject to certain exceptions, to indemnify and advance expenses to our directors, officers, employees and agents. Additionally, our charter limits, subject to certain exceptions, the liability of our directors and officers to us and our stockholders for monetary damages. Moreover, we have entered into separate indemnification agreements with each of our directors and executive officers and intend to enter into indemnification agreements with each of our future directors and executive officers. Although our charter does not allow us to indemnify our directors for any liability or loss suffered by them or hold harmless our directors for any loss or liability suffered by us to a greater extent than permitted under Maryland law, we and our stockholders may have more limited rights against our directors, officers, employees and agents than might otherwise exist under common law, which could reduce our stockholders’ and our recovery against them. In addition, we may be obligated to fund the defense costs incurred by our directors, officers, employees and agents in some cases, which would decrease the cash otherwise available for distribution to our stockholders.
Our stockholders’ investment return may be reduced if we are required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. If we become subject to registration under the Investment Company Act, we may not be able to continue our business.
We do not intend to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. We monitor our operations and our assets on an ongoing basis in order to ensure that neither we, nor any of our subsidiaries, meet the definition of “investment company” under Section 3(a)(1) of the Investment Company Act. If we were obligated to register as an investment company, we would have to comply with a variety of substantive requirements under the Investment Company Act imposing, among other things: limitations on capital structure; restrictions on specified investments; prohibitions on transactions with affiliates; compliance with reporting, record keeping, voting, proxy disclosure and other rules and regulations that would significantly change our operations; and potentially, compliance with daily valuation requirements.
To maintain compliance with our Investment Company Act exemption, we may be unable to sell assets we would otherwise want to sell and may need to sell assets we would otherwise wish to retain. Similarly, we may have to acquire additional income- or loss-generating assets that we might not otherwise have acquired or may have to forgo opportunities to acquire interests in companies that we would otherwise want to acquire and would be important to our investment strategy.
Accordingly, our board may not be able to change our investment policies as our board may deem appropriate if such change would cause us to meet the definition of an “investment company.” In addition, a change in the value of any of our assets could negatively affect our ability to avoid being required to register as an investment company. If we were required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, but failed to do so, we would be prohibited from engaging in our business, and criminal and civil actions could be brought against us. In addition, our contracts would be unenforceable unless a court were to require enforcement, and a court could appoint a receiver to take control of us and liquidate our business, which would reduce our stockholders’ investment return.
Risks Related to Investments in Real Estate
Uncertain market conditions relating to the future acquisition or disposition of properties could lead such acquired real estate investments to decrease in value or may cause us to sell our properties at a loss in the future.
Our management, subject to the oversight of our board, may exercise its discretion as to whether and when to sell a property, and we will have no obligation to sell properties at any particular time. We cannot predict with any certainty the various market conditions affecting real estate investments that will exist at any particular time in the future. As such, we may be purchasing our properties at a time when capitalization rates are at historically low levels and purchase prices are high. In addition, we may be required to expend funds to correct defects or to make improvements before a property can be sold. We may not have adequate funds available to correct such defects or to make such improvements. Moreover, in acquiring a property, we may agree to restrictions that prohibit the sale of that property for a period of time or impose other restrictions, such as a limitation on the amount of debt that can be placed or repaid on that property. We cannot predict the length of time needed to find a willing purchaser and to close the sale of a property. Therefore, the value of our properties may not increase over time, which may restrict our ability to sell our properties, or in the event we are able to sell such properties, may lead to sale prices less than the prices that we paid to purchase the properties. Additionally, we may incur prepayment penalties in the event we sell a property subject to a mortgage earlier than we otherwise had planned. Accordingly, the extent to which our stockholders will receive cash distributions and realize potential appreciation on our real estate investments will, among other things, be dependent upon fluctuating market conditions.
Uninsured losses relating to real estate and lender requirements to obtain insurance may reduce our stockholders’ returns.
There are types of losses relating to real estate, generally catastrophic in nature, such as losses due to wars, acts of terrorism, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, pollution, climate change or environmental matters, for which we do not intend to obtain insurance unless we are required to do so by mortgage lenders. If any of our properties incurs a casualty loss that is not fully covered by insurance, the value of our assets will be reduced by any such uninsured loss. In addition, other than any reserves we may establish, we have no source of funding to repair or reconstruct any uninsured damaged property, and we cannot assure our stockholders that any such sources of funding will be available to us for such purposes in the future. Also, to the extent we must pay unexpectedly large amounts for uninsured losses, we could suffer reduced earnings that would result in less cash to be distributed to our stockholders. In cases where we are required by mortgage lenders to obtain casualty loss insurance for catastrophic events, effects of climate change or terrorism, such insurance may not be available, or may not be available at a reasonable cost, which could inhibit our ability to finance or refinance our properties. Additionally, if we obtain such insurance, the costs associated with owning a property would increase and could have a material adverse effect on the net income from the property, and, thus, the cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
A high concentration of our properties in a particular geographic area would magnify the effects of downturns in that geographic area.
We have a concentration of properties in particular geographic areas; therefore, any adverse situation that disproportionately effects one of those areas would have a magnified adverse effect on our portfolio. As of March 25, 2022, properties located in Indiana accounted for approximately 30.9% of our total property portfolio’s annualized base rent or annualized NOI. Accordingly, there is a geographic concentration of risk subject to fluctuations in such state’s economy.
Terrorist attacks, acts of violence or war, political protests and unrest or public health crises may affect the markets in which we operate and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Terrorist attacks, acts of violence or war, political protests and unrest or public health crises (including the COVID-19 pandemic) have negatively affected, and may continue to negatively affect, our operations and our stockholders’ investments. We have acquired, and may continue to acquire, real estate assets located in areas that are susceptible to terrorist attacks, acts of violence or war, political protests or public health crises. These events may directly impact the value of our assets through damage, destruction, loss or increased security costs. Although we may obtain terrorism insurance, we may not be able to obtain sufficient coverage to fund any losses we may incur. Risks associated with potential acts of terrorism could sharply increase the premiums we pay for coverage against property and casualty claims. Further, certain losses resulting from these types of events are uninsurable or not insurable at reasonable costs. More generally, any terrorist attack, other act of violence or
war, political protest and unrest or public health crisis could result in increased volatility in, or damage to, the United States and worldwide financial markets and economy, all of which could adversely affect our tenants’ ability to pay rent on their leases or our ability to borrow money or issue capital stock at acceptable prices, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our business, tenants, residents and operators may face litigation and experience rising liability and insurance costs, which may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or cash flows.
We currently intend to pursue insurance recovery for any losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there can be no assurance that coverage will be available under our existing policies or if such coverage is available, which and how much of our losses will be covered and what other limitations may apply. Due to the likely increase in claims as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies may limit or stop offering coverage to companies like ours for pandemic related claims and/or significantly increase the cost of insurance so that it is no longer available at commercially reasonable rates.
With respect to our SHOP and integrated senior health campuses, we are ultimately responsible for operational risks and other liabilities of the facility, other than those arising out of certain actions by our operator, such as gross negligence or willful misconduct. As such, operational risks include, and our resulting revenues therefore depend on, the availability and cost of general and professional liability insurance coverage or increases in insurance policy deductibles. Furthermore, because we bear such operational risks and liabilities related to our SHOP and integrated senior health campuses, we may be directly adversely impacted by potential litigation related to the COVID-19 pandemic that have occurred or may occur at those facilities, and our insurance coverage may not cover or may not be sufficient to cover any potential losses.
Additionally, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of insurance for our tenants, operators and residents is expected to increase as well, and such insurance may not cover certain claims related to COVID-19, which could impair their ability to pay rent to us. Our exposure to COVID-19 related litigation risk may be further increased if our operators or residents of such facilities are subject to bankruptcy or insolvency. Combined with the factors above, these trends in insurance coverage may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or cash flows.
Most of our costs, such as operating and general and administrative expenses, interest expense, and real estate acquisition and construction costs, are subject to inflation.
A significant portion of our operating expenses is sensitive to inflation. These include expenses for property-related costs such as insurance, utilities and repairs and maintenance. Property taxes are also impacted by inflationary changes as taxes are typically regularly reassessed in most states based on changes in the fair value of our properties. We also have ground lease expenses in certain of our properties. Ground lease costs are contractual, but in some cases, lease payments reset every few years based on changes on consumer price indexes.
Operating expenses on our non-RIDEA properties, with the exception of ground lease rental expenses, are typically recoverable through our lease arrangements, which allow us to pass through substantially all expenses associated with property taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs and maintenance, and other operating expenses (including increases thereto) to our tenants. As of December 31, 2021, the majority of our existing leases were either triple net leases or leases that allow us to recover operating expenses, and also provided for the recapture of capital expenditures. Our remaining leases are generally gross leases, which provide for recoveries of operating expenses above the operating expenses from the initial year within each lease. During inflationary periods, we expect to recover increases in operating expenses from our triple net leases and our gross leases. As a result, we do not believe that inflation would result in a significant adverse effect on our net operating income, results of operations, and operating cash flows at the property level. For our RIDEA properties, increases in operating expenses, including labor, that are caused by inflationary pressures will generally be passed through to us and may adversely impact our net operating income, results of operations and operating cash flows.
Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of compensation costs, as well as professional and legal fees. Annually, our employee compensation is adjusted to reflect merit increases; however, to maintain our ability to successfully compete for the best talent, rising inflation rates may require us to provide compensation increases beyond historical annual merit increases, which may significantly increase our compensation costs. Similarly, professional and legal fees are also subject to the impact of inflation and expected to increase proportionately with increasing market prices for such services. Consequently, inflation is expected to increase our general and administrative expenses over time and may adversely impact our results of operations and operating cash flows.
Also, during inflationary periods, interest rates have historically increased, which would have a direct effect on the interest expense of our borrowings. Our exposure to increases in interest rates is limited to our variable-rate borrowings, which consist of borrowings under our credit facilities and variable-rate mortgage loans payable. As of December 31, 2021, our outstanding debt aggregated $2.3 billion, of which 43.4% was unhedged variable-rate debt. Therefore, a significant increase in inflation rates would have a material adverse impact on our financing costs and interest expense.
We have long term lease agreements with our tenants that contain effective annual rent escalations that were either fixed or indexed based on a consumer price index or other index. We believe our annual lease expirations allow us to reset these leases to market rents upon renewal or re-leasing and that annual rent escalations within our long-term leases are generally sufficient to offset the effect of inflation on non-recoverable costs, such as general and administrative expenses and interest expense. However, it is possible that during higher inflationary periods the impact of inflation will not be adequately offset by the resetting of rents from our renewal and re-leasing activities or our annual rent escalations. As a result, during inflationary periods in which the inflation rate exceeds the annual rent escalation percentages within our lease contracts, we may not adequately mitigate the impact of inflation, which may adversely affect to our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
Additionally, inflationary pricing may have a negative effect on the real estate acquisitions and construction costs necessary to complete our development and redevelopment projects, including, but not limited to, costs of construction materials, labor, and services from third-party contractors and suppliers. Higher acquisition and construction costs could adversely impact our net investments in real estate and expected yields in our development and redevelopment projects, which may make otherwise lucrative investment opportunities less profitable to us. As a result, our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows, we well as our ability to pay dividends, could be adversely affected over time.
Delays in the acquisition, development and construction of real properties may have adverse effects on our results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Delays we encounter in the selection, acquisition and development of real properties could adversely affect our stockholders’ returns. Where properties are acquired prior to the start of construction or during the early stages of construction, it will typically take several months to complete construction and rent available space. If we engage in development or construction projects, we will be subject to uncertainties associated with re-zoning for development, environmental concerns of governmental entities and/or community groups, and our builder’s ability to build in conformity with plans, specifications, budgeted costs and timetables. If a builder fails to perform, we may resort to legal action to rescind the purchase or the construction contract or to compel performance. A builder’s performance may also be affected or delayed by conditions beyond the builder’s control. Therefore, our stockholders could suffer delays in the receipt of cash distributions attributable to those particular real properties. Delays in completion of construction could give tenants the right to terminate preconstruction leases for space at a newly developed project. We may incur additional risks if we make periodic progress payments or other advances to builders prior to completion of construction. These and other such factors can result in increased costs of a project or loss of our investment. In addition, we will be subject to normal lease-up risks relating to newly constructed projects. We also must rely on rental income and expense projections and estimates of the fair market value of property upon completion of construction when agreeing upon a price at the time we acquire the property. If our projections are inaccurate, we may pay too much for a property, and our return on our investment could suffer.
If we contract with a development company for newly developed property, our earnest money deposit made to the development company may not be fully refunded.
We may acquire one or more properties under development. We anticipate that if we do acquire properties that are under development, we will be obligated to pay a substantial earnest money deposit at the time of contracting to acquire such properties, and that we will be required to close the purchase of the property upon completion of the development of the property. We may enter into such a contract with the development company even if at the time we enter into the contract, we have not yet secured sufficient financing to enable us to close the purchase of such property. However, we may not be required to close a purchase from the development company, and may be entitled to a refund of our earnest money, in the following circumstances:
•the development company fails to develop the property;
•all or a specified portion of the pre-leased tenants fail to take possession under their leases for any reason; or
•we are unable to secure sufficient financing to pay the purchase price at closing.
The obligation of the development company to refund our earnest money deposit will be unsecured, and we may not be able to obtain a refund of such earnest money deposit from it under these circumstances since the development company may be an entity without substantial assets or operations.
Our stockholders may not receive any profits resulting from the sale of our properties, or receive such profits in a timely manner, because we may provide financing to the purchaser of such property.
When we decide to sell one of our properties, we may provide financing to the purchasers. When we provide financing to purchasers, we will bear the risk that the purchaser may default on its obligations under the financing, which could negatively impact cash flows from operations. Even in the absence of a purchaser default, the distribution of sale proceeds, or their
reinvestment in other assets, will be delayed until the promissory notes or other property we may accept upon the sale are actually paid, sold, refinanced or otherwise disposed of. In some cases, we may receive initial down payments in cash and other property in the year of sale in an amount less than the selling price, and subsequent payments will be spread over a number of years. Therefore, our stockholders may experience a delay in the distribution to our stockholders of the proceeds of a sale until such time. Additionally, if any purchaser defaults under a financing arrangement with us, it could negatively impact our ability to pay cash distributions to our stockholders.
Representations and warranties made by us in connection with sales of our properties may subject us to liability that could result in losses and could harm our operating results and, therefore distributions we make to our stockholders.
When we sell a property, we have been required, and may continue to be required, to make representations and warranties regarding the property and other customary items. In the event of a breach of such representations or warranties, the purchaser of the property may have claims for damages against us, rights to indemnification from us or otherwise have remedies against us. In any such case, we may incur liabilities that could result in losses and could harm our operating results and, therefore distributions we make to our stockholders.
We face possible liability for environmental cleanup costs and damages for contamination related to properties we acquire, which could substantially increase our costs and reduce our liquidity and cash distributions to our stockholders.
Because we own and operate real estate, we are subject to various federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations. Under these laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner or operator of real estate may be liable for the cost of removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances on, under or in such property. The costs of removal or remediation could be substantial. Such laws often impose liability whether or not the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. Environmental laws also may impose restrictions on the manner in which property may be used or businesses may be operated, and these restrictions may require substantial expenditures. Environmental laws provide for sanctions in the event of noncompliance and may be enforced by governmental agencies or, in certain circumstances, by private parties. Certain environmental laws and common law principles could be used to impose liability for release of and exposure to hazardous substances, including the release of asbestos-containing materials into the air, and third parties may seek recovery from owners or operators of real estate for personal injury or property damage associated with exposure to released hazardous substances. In addition, new or more stringent laws or stricter interpretations of existing laws could change the cost of compliance or liabilities and restrictions arising out of such laws. The cost of defending against these claims, complying with environmental regulatory requirements, conducting remediation of any contaminated property, or of paying personal injury claims could be substantial, which would reduce our liquidity and cash available for distribution to our stockholders. In addition, the presence of hazardous substances on a property or the failure to meet environmental regulatory requirements may materially impair our ability to use, lease or sell a property, or to use the property as collateral for borrowing.
Our real estate investments may be concentrated in MOBs, hospitals, SNFs, senior housing, integrated senior health campuses or other healthcare-related facilities, making us potentially more vulnerable economically than if our investments were diversified.
As a REIT, we invest primarily in real estate. Within the real estate industry, we have acquired, and may continue to acquire, or selectively develop and own MOBs, hospitals, SNFs, senior housing, integrated senior health campuses and other healthcare-related facilities. We are subject to risks inherent in concentrating investments in real estate. These risks resulting from a lack of diversification become even greater as a result of our business strategy to invest to a substantial degree in healthcare-related facilities.
A downturn in the commercial real estate industry generally could significantly adversely affect the value of our properties. A downturn in the healthcare industry could negatively affect our lessees’ ability to make lease payments to us and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders. These adverse effects could be more pronounced than if we diversified our investments outside of real estate or if our portfolio did not include a substantial concentration in MOBs, hospitals, SNFs, senior housing and other healthcare-related facilities.
Certain of our properties may not have efficient alternative uses, so the loss of a tenant may cause us not to be able to find a replacement or cause us to spend considerable capital to adapt the property to an alternative use.
Some of the properties we have acquired and will seek to acquire are healthcare properties that may only be suitable for similar healthcare-related tenants. If we or our tenants terminate the leases for these properties or our tenants lose their regulatory authority to operate such properties, we may not be able to locate suitable replacement tenants to lease the properties for their specialized uses. Alternatively, we may be required to spend substantial amounts to adapt the properties to other uses. Any loss of revenues or additional capital expenditures required as a result may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Our current and future properties and our tenants may be unable to compete successfully, which could result in lower rent payments, reduce our cash flows from operations and amount available for distributions.
Our current and future properties often will face competition from nearby properties that provide comparable services. Some of those competing properties are owned by governmental agencies and supported by tax revenues, and others are owned by nonprofit corporations and may be supported to a large extent by endowments and charitable contributions. These types of support are not available to our properties.
Similarly, our tenants face competition from other medical practices in nearby hospitals and other medical facilities. Our tenants’ failure to compete successfully with these other practices could adversely affect their ability to make rental payments, which could adversely affect our rental revenues. Further, from time to time and for reasons beyond our control, referral sources, including physicians and managed care organizations, may change their lists of hospitals or physicians to which they refer patients or that are permitted to participate in the payor program. This could adversely affect our tenants’ ability to make rental payments, which could adversely affect our rental revenues.
Any reduction in rental revenues resulting from the inability of our properties and our tenants to compete successfully may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Ownership of property outside the United States may subject us to different or greater risks than those associated with our domestic operations.
As of December 31, 2021, we had $68,085,000 invested in the United Kingdom, or UK, and the Isle of Man, or 1.6% of our portfolio, based on our aggregate purchase price of real estate investments. International development, ownership, and operating activities involve risks that are different from those we face with respect to our domestic properties and operations. For example, we have limited investing experience in international markets. If we are unable to successfully manage the risks associated with international expansion and operations, our results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Additionally, our ownership of properties in the Isle of Man and the UK currently subjects us to fluctuations in the exchange rates between United States dollars, or USD, and the UK Pound Sterling, which may, from time to time, impact our financial condition and results of operations. Revenues generated from any properties or other real estate-related investments we acquire or ventures we enter into relating to transactions involving assets located in markets outside the United States likely will be denominated in the local currency. Therefore, any investments we make outside the United States may subject us to foreign currency risk due to potential fluctuations in exchange rates between foreign currencies and the USD. As a result, changes in exchange rates of any such foreign currency to USD may affect our revenues, operating margins and distributions and may also affect the book value of our assets and the amount of stockholders’ equity. In addition, changes in foreign currency exchange rates used to value a REIT’s foreign assets may be considered changes in the value of the REIT’s assets. These changes may adversely affect our status as a REIT. Further, bank accounts in a foreign currency which are not considered cash or cash equivalents may adversely affect our status as a REIT.
Risks Related to the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry is heavily regulated and new laws or regulations, changes to existing laws or regulations, loss of licensure or failure to obtain licensure could result in the inability of our tenants to make rent payments to us.
The healthcare industry is heavily regulated by federal, state and local governmental bodies. The tenants in our healthcare properties generally will be subject to laws and regulations covering, among other things, licensure, certification for participation in government programs, and relationships with physicians and other referral sources. Changes in these laws and regulations or our tenants’ failure to comply with these laws and regulations could negatively affect the ability of our tenants to make lease payments to us and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Many of our healthcare properties and their tenants may require a license or CON to operate. Failure to obtain a license or CON, or loss of a required license or CON, would prevent a facility from operating in the manner intended by the tenant. These events could materially adversely affect our tenants’ ability to make rent payments to us. State and local laws also may regulate expansion, including the addition of new beds or services or acquisition of medical equipment, and the construction of healthcare-related facilities, by requiring a CON or other similar approval. State CON laws and other similar laws are not uniform throughout the United States and are subject to change; therefore, this may adversely impact our tenants’ ability to provide services in different states. We cannot predict the impact of state CON laws or similar laws on our development of facilities or the operations of our tenants.
In addition, state CON laws often materially impact the ability of competitors to enter into the marketplace of our facilities. The repeal of CON laws could allow competitors to freely operate in previously closed markets. This could negatively affect our tenants’ abilities to make rent payments to us.
In limited circumstances, loss of state licensure or certification or closure of a facility could ultimately result in loss of authority to operate the facility or provide services at the facility and require new CON authorization licensure and/or authorization or potential authorization from CMS to re-institute operations. As a result, a portion of the value of the facility may be reduced, which would adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Reductions in reimbursement from third-party payors, including Medicare and Medicaid, could adversely affect the profitability of our tenants and hinder their ability to make rental payments to us, and comprehensive healthcare reform legislation could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Sources of revenue for our tenants may include the federal Medicare program, state Medicaid programs, private insurance carriers and health maintenance organizations, among others. Efforts by such payors to reduce healthcare costs will likely continue, which may result in reductions or slower growth in reimbursement for certain services provided by some of our tenants. In addition, the healthcare billing rules and regulations are complex, and the failure of any of our tenants to comply with various laws and regulations could jeopardize their ability to continue participating in Medicare, Medicaid and other government sponsored payment programs. Moreover, the state and federal governmental healthcare programs are subject to reductions by state and federal legislative actions, and changes in reimbursement models may impact our tenants’ payments and create uncertainty in the tenants’ financial condition.
The healthcare industry continues to face various challenges, including increased government and private payor pressure on healthcare providers to control or reduce costs. It is possible that our tenants will continue to experience a shift in payor mix away from fee-for-service payors, resulting in an increase in the percentage of revenues attributable to reimbursement based upon value-based principles and quality driven managed care programs, and general industry trends that include pressures to control healthcare costs. Pressures to control healthcare costs and a shift away from traditional health insurance reimbursement based upon a fee for service payment to payment based upon quality outcomes have increased the uncertainty of payments.
In addition, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, or the Healthcare Reform Act, is intended to reduce the number of individuals in the United States without health insurance and effect significant other changes to the ways in which healthcare is organized, delivered and reimbursed. Included within the legislation is a limitation on physician-owned hospitals from expanding, unless the facility satisfies very narrow federal exceptions to this limitation. Therefore, if our tenants are physicians that own and refer to a hospital, the hospital would be limited in its operations and expansion potential, which may limit the hospital’s services and resulting revenues and may impact the owner’s ability to make rental payments.
Furthermore, the Healthcare Reform Act included new payment models with new shared savings programs and demonstration programs that include bundled payment models and payments contingent upon reporting on satisfaction of quality benchmarks. The new payment models will likely change how physicians are paid for services. These changes could have a material adverse effect on the financial condition of some of our tenants.
On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was signed into law and repealed the individual mandate financial penalty portion of the Healthcare Reform Act beginning in 2019. With the elimination of the individual mandate enforcement mechanism, several states brought suit seeking to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act. In response, several other states intervened in the suit, seeking to uphold the Healthcare Reform Act. In 2021, the United States Supreme Court determined that this latest challenge to the Healthcare Reform Act was unreviewable because the plaintiffs in the suit lacked standing. However, challenges to the Healthcare Reform Act may continue. If all or a portion of the Healthcare Reform Act, including the individual mandate, is eventually ruled unconstitutional, our tenants may have more patients and residents who do not have insurance coverage, which may adversely impact the tenants’ collections and revenues. The financial impact on our tenants could restrict their ability to make rent payments to us, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to stockholders.
We cannot predict the ultimate content, timing or effect of any further healthcare reform legislation or the impact of potential legislation on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to stockholders. We expect that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that federal and state governments will pay for healthcare services, which may adversely impact our tenants’ ability to make rental payments to us.
The current trend for seniors to delay moving to senior housing facilities until they require greater care or to forgo moving to senior housing facilities altogether could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Seniors have been increasingly delaying their moves to senior housing facilities, including to our leased and managed senior housing facilities, until they require greater care, and increasingly forgoing moving to senior housing facilities altogether. The COVID-19 pandemic could cause seniors and their families to be reluctant to move into senior housing facilities during the pandemic. Further, rehabilitation therapy and other services are increasingly being provided to seniors on an outpatient basis or in seniors’ personal residences in response to market demand and government regulation, which may increase the trend for seniors to delay moving to senior housing facilities. Such delays may cause decreases in occupancy rates and increases in resident turnover rates at our senior housing facilities. Moreover, seniors may have greater care needs and require higher acuity services, which may increase our tenants’ and managers’ cost of business, expose our tenants and managers to additional liability or result in lost business and shorter stays at our leased and managed senior housing facilities if our tenants and managers are not able to provide the requisite care services or fail to adequately provide those services. These trends may negatively impact the occupancy rates, revenues, and cash flows at our leased and managed senior housing facilities and our results of operations. Further, if any of our tenants or managers are unable to offset lost revenues from these trends by providing and growing other revenue sources, such as new or increased service offerings to seniors, our senior housing facilities may be unprofitable and we may receive lower returns and rent, and the value of our senior housing facilities may decline.
Events that adversely affect the ability of seniors and their families to afford resident fees at our senior housing facilities could cause our occupancy rates, resident fee revenues and results of operations to decline.
Costs to seniors associated with independent and assisted living services are generally not reimbursable under government reimbursement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Only seniors with income or assets meeting or exceeding the comparable median in the regions where our facilities are located typically will be able to afford to pay the entrance fees and monthly resident fees, and a weak economy, depressed housing market or changes in demographics could adversely affect their continued ability to do so. If our tenants and operators are unable to retain and attract seniors with sufficient income, assets or other resources required to pay the fees associated with independent and assisted living services and other services provided by our tenants and operators at our healthcare facilities, our occupancy rates and resident fee revenues could decline, which could, in turn, materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to make distributions to stockholders.
Some tenants of our current and future properties will be subject to fraud and abuse laws, the violation of which by a tenant may jeopardize the tenant’s ability to make rent payments to us.
There are various federal and state laws prohibiting fraudulent and abusive business practices by healthcare providers who participate in, receive payments from or are in a position to make referrals in connection with government-sponsored healthcare programs, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Our lease arrangements with certain current and future tenants may also be subject to these fraud and abuse laws. In order to support compliance with the fraud and abuse laws, our lease agreements may be required to satisfy individual state law requirements that vary from state to state, such as the Stark Law exception and the Anti-Kickback Statute safe harbor for lease arrangements, which impacts the terms and conditions that may be negotiated in the lease arrangements.
These federal laws include:
•the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, the offer, payment, solicitation or receipt of any form of remuneration in return for, or to induce, the referral of any item or service reimbursed by state or federal healthcare programs;
•the Federal Physician Self-Referral Prohibition, which, subject to specific exceptions, restricts physicians from making referrals for specifically designated health services for which payment may be made under federal healthcare programs to an entity with which the physician, or an immediate family member, has a financial relationship;
•the False Claims Act, which prohibits any person from knowingly presenting false or fraudulent claims for payment to the federal government, including claims paid by the Medicare and Medicaid programs;
•the Civil Monetary Penalties Law, which authorizes the United States Department of Health & Human Services to impose monetary penalties or exclusion from participating in state or federal healthcare programs for certain fraudulent acts;
•the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended, or HIPAA, Fraud Statute, which makes it a federal crime to defraud any health benefit plan, including private payors; and
•the Exclusions Law, which authorizes the United States Department of Health & Human Services to exclude someone from participating in state or federal healthcare programs for certain fraudulent acts.
Each of these laws includes criminal and/or civil penalties for violations that range from punitive sanctions, damage assessments, penalties, imprisonment, denial of Medicare and Medicaid payments and/or exclusion from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Monetary penalties associated with violations of these laws have been increased in recent years. Certain laws, such as the False Claims Act, allow for individuals to bring whistleblower actions on behalf of the government for violations thereof. Additionally, states in which the facilities are located may have similar fraud and abuse laws. Investigation by a federal or state governmental body for violation of fraud and abuse laws or imposition of any of these penalties upon one of our tenants could jeopardize that tenant’s ability to operate or to make rent payments, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
In late 2020, CMS and the United States Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General issued material revisions to rules and regulations relating to the federal Physician Self-Referral Prohibition and the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. While these revisions were designed to modernize the regulatory scheme and advance the transition to value-based care, there is little published guidance and interpretation with respect to the new regulations, which may lead to uncertainty for our tenants in trying to comply with the various safe harbors and exceptions to these laws.
Adverse trends in healthcare provider operations may negatively affect our lease revenues and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
The healthcare industry is currently experiencing:
•changes in the demand for and methods of delivering healthcare services;
•changes in third-party reimbursement policies;
•significant unused capacity in certain areas, which has created substantial competition for patients among healthcare providers in those areas;
•increased expense for uninsured patients;
•increased competition among healthcare providers;
•increased liability insurance expense;
•continued pressure by private and governmental payors to reduce payments to providers of services;
•increased scrutiny of billing, referral and other practices by federal and state authorities;
•changes in federal and state healthcare program payment models;
•increased emphasis on compliance with privacy and security requirements related to personal health information; and
•increased instability in the Health Insurance Exchange market and lack of access to insurance plans participating in the exchange.
Additionally, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, many governmental entities relaxed certain licensure and other regulatory requirements relating to telemedicine, allowing more patients to virtually access care without having to visit a healthcare facility. If governmental and regulatory authorities continue to allow for increased virtual health care, this may affect the demand for some of our properties, such as MOBs.
These factors may adversely affect the economic performance of some or all of our tenants and, in turn, our lease revenues and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Operators/managers of healthcare properties that we own, or may acquire, may be affected by the financial deterioration, insolvency and/or bankruptcy of other significant operators/managers in the healthcare industry.
Certain companies in the healthcare industry, including some key senior housing operators/managers, are experiencing considerable financial, legal and/or regulatory difficulties which have resulted or may result in financial deterioration and, in some cases, insolvency and/or bankruptcy. The adverse effects on these companies could have a significant impact on the industry as a whole, including but not limited to negative public perception by investors, lenders and consumers. As a result, lessees of healthcare facilities that we own, or may acquire, could experience the damaging financial effects of a weakened
industry sector driven by negative headlines, ultimately making them unable to meet their obligations to us, and our business could be adversely affected.
Our healthcare-related tenants may be subject to significant legal actions that could subject them to increased operating costs and substantial uninsured liabilities, which may affect their ability to pay their rent payments to us.
As is typical in the healthcare industry, our healthcare-related tenants may often become subject to claims that their services have resulted in patient injury or other adverse effects. Many of these tenants may have experienced an increasing trend in the frequency and severity of professional liability and general liability insurance claims and litigation asserted against them. The insurance coverage maintained by these tenants may not cover all claims made against them nor continue to be available at a reasonable cost, if at all. In some states, insurance coverage for the risk of punitive damages arising from professional liability and general liability claims and/or litigation may not, in certain cases, be available to these tenants due to state law prohibitions or limitations of availability. As a result, these types of tenants of our MOBs, hospitals, SNFs, senior housing and other healthcare-related facilities operating in these states may be liable for punitive damage awards that are either not covered or are in excess of their insurance policy limits. We also believe that there has been, and will continue to be, an increase in governmental investigations of certain healthcare providers, particularly in the area of Medicare/Medicaid false claims, as well as an increase in enforcement actions resulting from these investigations. Insurance may not always be available to cover such losses. Any adverse determination in a legal proceeding or governmental investigation, whether currently asserted or arising in the future, could have a material adverse effect on a tenant’s financial condition. If a tenant is unable to obtain or maintain insurance coverage, if judgments are obtained in excess of the insurance coverage, if a tenant is required to pay uninsured punitive damages, or if a tenant is subject to an uninsurable government enforcement action, the tenant could be exposed to substantial additional liabilities, which may affect the tenant’s ability to pay rent, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
We, our tenants and our operators for our skilled nursing, senior housing and integrated senior health campuses may be subject to various government reviews, audits and investigations that could adversely affect our business, including an obligation to refund amounts previously paid to us, potential criminal charges, the imposition of fines, and/or the loss of the right to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
We, our tenants and our operators for our skilled nursing, senior housing and integrated senior health campuses are subject to various governmental reviews, audits and investigations to verify compliance with the Medicaid and Medicare programs and applicable laws and regulations. We, our tenants and our operators for our skilled nursing, senior housing and integrated senior health campuses are also subject to audits under various government programs, including Recovery Audit Contractors, Unified Program Integrity Contractors, and other third party audit programs, in which third-party firms engaged by CMS conduct extensive reviews of claims data and medical and other records to identify potential improper payments under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Private pay sources also reserve the right to conduct audits. An adverse review, audit or investigation could result in:
•an obligation to refund amounts previously paid to us, our tenants or our operators pursuant to the Medicare or Medicaid programs or from private payors, in amounts that could be material to our business;
•state or federal agencies imposing fines, penalties and other sanctions on us, our tenants or our operators;
•loss of our right, our tenants’ right or our operators’ right to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs or one or more private payor networks;
•an increase in private litigation against us, our tenants or our operators; and
•damage to our reputation in various markets.
While we, our tenants and our operators for our skilled nursing, senior housing and integrated senior health campuses have always been subject to post-payment audits and reviews, more intensive “probe reviews” appear to be a permanent procedure with our fiscal intermediaries. If the government or a court were to conclude that such errors, deficiencies or disagreements constituted criminal violations, or were to conclude that such errors, deficiencies or disagreements resulted in the submission of false claims to federal healthcare programs, or if the government were to discover other problems in addition to the ones identified by the probe reviews that rose to actionable levels, we and certain of our officers, and our tenants and operators for our skilled nursing, senior housing and integrated senior health campuses and certain of their officers, might face potential criminal charges and/or civil claims, administrative sanctions and penalties for amounts that could be material to our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, we and/or some of the key personnel of our operating subsidiaries, or those of our tenants and operators for our skilled nursing, senior housing and integrated senior health campuses, could be temporarily or permanently excluded from future participation in state and federal healthcare reimbursement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. In any event, it is likely that a governmental investigation alone, regardless of its outcome,
would divert material time, resources and attention from our management team and our staff, or those of our tenants and our operators for our skilled nursing, senior housing and integrated senior health campuses and could have a materially detrimental impact on our results of operations during and after any such investigation or proceedings.
In cases where claim and documentation review by any CMS contractor results in repeated poor performance, a facility can be subjected to protracted oversight. This oversight may include repeat education and re-probe, extended pre-payment review, referral to recovery audit or integrity contractors, or extrapolation of an error rate to other reimbursement outside of specifically reviewed claims. Sustained failure to demonstrate improvement towards meeting all claim filing and documentation requirements could ultimately lead to Medicare and Medicaid decertification, which could have a materially detrimental impact on our results of operations. Adverse actions by CMS may also cause third party payor or licensure authorities to audit our tenants. These additional audits could result in termination of third-party payor agreements or licensure of the facility, which would also adversely impact our operations.
In addition, our tenants and operators that accepted relief funds distributed to combat the adverse effects of COVID-19 and reimburse providers for unreimbursed expenses and lost revenues may be subject to certain reporting and auditing obligations associated with the receipt of such relief funds. If these tenants or operators fail to comply with the terms and conditions associated with relief funds, they may be subject to government recovery and enforcement actions. Furthermore, regulatory guidance relating to use of the relief funds, recordkeeping requirements and other terms and conditions continues to evolve and there is a high degree of uncertainty surrounding many aspects of the relief funds. This uncertainty may create compliance challenges for tenants and operators who accepted relief funds.
The Healthcare Reform Law imposes additional requirements on skilled nursing facilities regarding compliance and disclosure.
The Health Care and Education and Reconciliation Act of 2010, or the Healthcare Reform Law, requires SNFs to have a compliance and ethics program that is effective in preventing and detecting criminal, civil and administrative violations and in promoting quality of care. The United States Department of Health and Human Services included in the final rule published on October 4, 2016 the requirement for operators to implement a compliance and ethics program as a condition of participation in Medicare and Medicaid. Long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities, had until November 28, 2019 to comply. If our operators fall short in their compliance and ethics programs and quality assurance and performance improvement programs, if and when required, their reputations and ability to attract residents could be adversely affected.
Risks Related to Debt Financing
Changes in banks’ inter-bank lending rate reporting practices or the method pursuant to which LIBOR is determined may adversely affect the value of the financial obligations to be held or issued by us that are linked to LIBOR.
London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, and other indices which are deemed “benchmarks” are the subject of recent national, international and other regulatory guidance and proposals for reform. Some of these reforms are already effective while others are still to be implemented. These reforms may cause such “benchmarks” to perform differently than in the past, or have other consequences which cannot be predicted. As published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it currently appears that, over time, United States dollar LIBOR may be replaced by the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or SOFR. The Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, ceased publishing one-week and two-month LIBOR after December 31, 2021 and intends to cease publishing all remaining LIBOR after June 30, 2023. At this time, it is not known whether or when SOFR or other alternative reference rates will attain market traction as replacements for LIBOR. Market participants are still considering how various types of financial instruments and securitization vehicles should react to a discontinuation of LIBOR. It is possible that not all of our assets and liabilities will transition away from LIBOR at the same time, or to the same alternative reference rate, in each case increasing the difficulty of hedging. The process of transition involves operational risks. It is also possible that no transition will occur for many financial instruments. At this time, it is not possible to predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative reference rates or any other reforms to LIBOR that may be implemented. Uncertainty as to the nature of such potential changes, alternative reference rates or other reforms may adversely affect the market for or value of any securities on which the interest or dividend is determined by reference to LIBOR, loans, derivatives and other financial obligations or on our overall financial condition or results of operations. More generally, any of the above changes or any other consequential changes to LIBOR or any other “benchmark” as a result of international, national or other proposals for reform or other initiatives, or any further uncertainty in relation to the timing and manner of implementation of such changes, could have a material adverse effect on the value of financial assets and liabilities based on or linked to a “benchmark.”
Increases in interest rates could increase the amount of our debt payments, and therefore, negatively impact our operating results.
Interest we pay on our debt obligations will reduce cash available for distributions. Whenever we incur variable-rate debt, increases in interest rates would increase our interest costs, which would reduce our cash flows and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders. If we need to repay existing debt during periods of rising interest rates, we could be required to liquidate one or more of our investments in properties at times which may not permit realization of the maximum return on such investments.
To the extent we borrow at fixed rates or enter into fixed interest rate swaps, we will not benefit from reduced interest expense if interest rates decrease.
We are exposed to the effects of interest rate changes primarily as a result of borrowings we have used to maintain liquidity and fund expansion and refinancing of our real estate investment portfolio and operations. To limit the impact of interest rate changes on earnings, prepayment penalties and cash flows and to lower overall borrowing costs while taking into account variable interest rate risk, we have borrowed, and may continue to borrow, at fixed rates or variable rates depending upon prevailing market conditions. We have and may also continue to enter into derivative financial instruments such as interest rate swaps and caps in order to mitigate our interest rate risk on a related financial instrument. Therefore, to the extent we borrow at fixed rates or enter into fixed interest rate swaps, we will not benefit from reduced interest expense if interest rates decrease.
Hedging activity may expose us to risks.
We have used, and may continue to use, derivative financial instruments to hedge our exposure to changes in exchange rates and interest rates on loans secured by our assets. If we use derivative financial instruments to hedge against interest rate fluctuations, we will be exposed to credit risk and legal enforceability risks. In this context, credit risk is the failure of the counterparty to perform under the terms of the derivative contract. If the fair value of a derivative contract is positive, the counterparty owes us, which creates credit risk for us. Legal enforceability risks encompass general contractual risks, including the risk that the counterparty will breach the terms of, or fail to perform its obligations under, the derivative contract. These derivative instruments are speculative in nature and there is no guarantee that they will be effective. If we are unable to manage these risks effectively, our results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay distributions to our stockholders will be adversely affected.
Lenders may require us to enter into restrictive covenants relating to our operations, which could limit our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
When providing financing, a lender may impose restrictions on us that affect our ability to incur additional debt and affect our distribution and operating strategies. We have entered into, and may continue to enter into, loan documents that contain covenants that limit our ability to further mortgage the property or discontinue insurance coverage. These or other limitations may adversely affect our flexibility and our ability to achieve our investment objectives.
Interest-only indebtedness may increase our risk of default, adversely affect our ability to refinance or sell properties and ultimately may reduce our funds available for distribution to our stockholders.
We may finance or refinance our properties using interest-only mortgage indebtedness. During the interest-only period, the amount of each scheduled payment will be less than that of a traditional amortizing mortgage loan. The principal balance of the mortgage loan will not be reduced (except in the case of prepayments) because there are no scheduled monthly payments of principal during this period. After the interest-only period, we will be required either to make scheduled payments of amortized principal and interest or to make a lump-sum or “balloon” payment at maturity. At the time such a balloon payment is due, we may or may not be able to refinance the balloon payment on terms as favorable as the original loan or sell the particular property at a price sufficient to make the balloon payment. Furthermore, these required principal or balloon payments will increase the amount of our scheduled payments and may increase our risk of default under the related mortgage loan. If the mortgage loan has an adjustable interest rate, the amount of our scheduled payments also may increase at a time of rising interest rates. In addition, payments of principal and interest made to service our debts, including balloon payments, may leave us with insufficient cash to pay the distributions that we are required to pay to maintain our qualification as a REIT. Any of these results would have a significant, negative impact on our stockholders’ investment.
If we are required to make payments under any “bad boy” carve-out guaranties that we may provide in connection with certain mortgages and related loans, our business and financial results could be materially adversely affected.
In obtaining certain nonrecourse loans, we have provided, and may continue to provide, standard carve-out guaranties. These guaranties are only applicable if and when the borrower directly, or indirectly through agreement with an affiliate, joint
venture partner or other third party, voluntarily files a bankruptcy or similar liquidation or reorganization action or takes other actions that are fraudulent or improper (commonly referred to as “bad boy” guaranties). Although we believe that “bad boy” carve-out guaranties are not guaranties of payment in the event of foreclosure or other actions of the foreclosing lender that are beyond the borrower’s control, some lenders in the real estate industry have recently sought to make claims for payment under such guaranties. In the event such a claim was made against us under a “bad boy” carve-out guaranty following foreclosure on mortgages or related loan, and such claim was successful, our business and financial results could be materially adversely affected.
Risks Related to Real Estate-Related Investments
Unfavorable real estate market conditions and delays in liquidating defaulted mortgage loan investments may negatively impact mortgage loans we have invested and may invest in, which could result in losses to us.
The investment in mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities we have made, and may continue to make, involve special risks relating to the particular borrower or issuer of the mortgage-backed securities and we will be at risk of loss on those investments, including losses as a result of defaults on mortgage loans. These losses may be caused by many conditions beyond our control, including economic conditions affecting real estate values, tenant defaults and lease expirations, interest rate levels and the other economic and liability risks associated with real estate. If we acquire property by foreclosure following defaults under our mortgage loan investments, we will have the economic and liability risks as the owner described above. We do not know whether the values of the property securing any of our real estate-related investments will remain at the levels existing on the dates we initially make the related investment. If the values of the underlying properties drop, our risk will increase and the values of our interests may decrease. Furthermore, if there are defaults under our mortgage loan investments, we may not be able to foreclose on or obtain a suitable remedy with respect to such investments. Specifically, we may not be able to repossess and sell the underlying properties quickly, which could reduce the value of our investment. For example, an action to foreclose on a property securing a mortgage loan is regulated by state statutes and rules and is subject to many of the delays and expenses of lawsuits if the defendant raises defenses or counterclaims. Additionally, in the event of default by a mortgagor, these restrictions, among other things, may impede our ability to foreclose on or sell the mortgaged property or to obtain proceeds sufficient to repay all amounts due to us on the mortgage loan.
The commercial mortgage-backed securities in which we have invested, and may continue to invest, are subject to several types of risks.
Commercial mortgage-backed securities are bonds which evidence interests in, or are secured by, a single commercial mortgage loan or a pool of commercial mortgage loans. Accordingly, the mortgage-backed securities in which we have invested, and may continue to invest, are subject to all the risks of the underlying mortgage loans.
In a rising interest rate environment, the value of commercial mortgage-backed securities may be adversely affected when payments on underlying mortgages do not occur as anticipated, resulting in the extension of the security’s effective maturity and the related increase in interest rate sensitivity of a longer-term instrument. The value of commercial mortgage-backed securities may also change due to shifts in the market’s perception of issuers and regulatory or tax changes adversely affecting the mortgage securities markets as a whole. In addition, commercial mortgage-backed securities are subject to the credit risk associated with the performance of the underlying mortgage properties.
Commercial mortgage-backed securities are also subject to several risks created through the securitization process. Subordinate commercial mortgage-backed securities are paid interest-only to the extent that there are funds available to make payments. To the extent the collateral pool includes a large percentage of delinquent loans, there is a risk that interest payments on subordinate commercial mortgage-backed securities will not be fully paid. Subordinate securities of commercial mortgage-backed securities are also subject to greater credit risk than those commercial mortgage-backed securities that are more highly rated.
The mezzanine loans in which we have invested, and may continue to invest, involve greater risks of loss than senior loans secured by income-producing real estate.
We have invested, and may continue to invest, in mezzanine loans that take the form of subordinated loans secured by second mortgages on the underlying real estate or loans secured by a pledge of the ownership interests of either the entity owning the real estate or the entity that owns the interest in the entity owning the real estate. These types of investments involve a higher degree of risk than long-term senior mortgage lending secured by income-producing real estate because the investment may become unsecured as a result of foreclosure by the senior lender. In the event of a bankruptcy of the entity providing the pledge of its ownership interests as security, we may not have full recourse to the assets of such entity, or the assets of the entity may not be sufficient to satisfy our mezzanine loan. If a borrower defaults on our mezzanine loan or debt senior to our loan, or in the event of a borrower bankruptcy, our mezzanine loan will be satisfied only after the senior debt. As a result, we may not
recover some or all of our investment. In addition, mezzanine loans may have higher loan-to-value ratios than conventional mortgage loans, resulting in less equity in the real estate and increasing the risk of loss of principal.
We expect a portion of our real estate-related investments to be illiquid and we may not be able to adjust our portfolio in response to changes in economic and other conditions.
We may acquire real estate-related investments in connection with privately negotiated transactions which are not registered under the relevant securities laws, resulting in a prohibition against their transfer, sale, pledge or other disposition except in a transaction that is exempt from the registration requirements of, or is otherwise in accordance with, those laws. As a result, our ability to vary our portfolio in response to changes in economic and other conditions may be relatively limited. The mezzanine and bridge loans we may purchase will be particularly illiquid investments due to their short life, their unsuitability for securitization and the greater difficulty of recoupment in the event of a borrower’s default.
If we liquidate prior to the maturity of our real estate-related investments, we may be forced to sell those investments on unfavorable terms or at a loss.
Our board may choose to effect a liquidity event in which we liquidate our assets, including our real estate-related investments. If we liquidate those investments prior to their maturity, we may be forced to sell those investments on unfavorable terms or at a loss. For instance, if we are required to liquidate mortgage loans at a time when prevailing interest rates are higher than the interest rates of such mortgage loans, we would likely sell such loans at a discount to their stated principal values.
Risks Related to Joint Ventures
Property ownership through joint ventures could limit our control of those investments, restrict our ability to operate and finance the property on our term and reduce their expected return.
In connection with the purchase of real estate, we have entered, and may continue to enter, into joint ventures with third parties. We may also purchase or develop properties in co-ownership arrangements with the sellers of the properties, developers or other persons. We own operating properties through both consolidated and unconsolidated joint ventures. These structures involve participation in the investment by other parties whose interests and rights may not be the same as ours. Our joint ventures, and joint ventures we may enter into in the future, may involve risks not present with respect to our wholly owned properties, including the following:
•we may share decision-making authority with our joint venture partners regarding certain major decisions affecting the ownership or operation of the joint venture and the joint venture property, such as, but not limited to, (i) additional capital contribution requirements, (ii) obtaining, refinancing or paying off debt and (iii) obtaining consent prior to the sale or transfer of our interest in the joint venture to a third party, which may prevent us from taking actions that are opposed by our joint venture partners;
•our joint venture partners might become bankrupt and such proceedings could have an adverse impact on the operation of the partnership or joint venture;
•our joint venture partners may have business interests or goals with respect to the property that conflict with our business interests and goals, which could increase the likelihood of disputes regarding the ownership, management or disposition of the property;
•disputes may develop with our joint venture partners over decisions affecting the property or the joint venture, which may result in litigation or arbitration that would increase our expenses and distract our officers from focusing their time and effort on our business, disrupt the day-to-day operations of the property such as by delaying the implementation of important decisions until the conflict is resolved, and possibly force a sale of the property if the dispute cannot be resolved; and
•the activities of a joint venture could adversely affect our ability to maintain our qualification as a REIT.
We may structure our joint venture relationships in a manner which may limit the amount we participate in the cash flows or appreciation of an investment.
We have entered, and may continue to enter, into joint venture agreements, the economic terms of which may provide for the distribution of income to us otherwise than in direct proportion to our ownership interest in the joint venture. For example, while we and a co-venturer may invest an equal amount of capital in an investment, the investment may be structured such that we have a right to priority distributions of cash flows up to a certain target return while the co-venturer may receive a disproportionately greater share of cash flows than we are to receive once such target return has been achieved. This type of investment structure may result in the co-venturer receiving more of the cash flows, including appreciation, of an investment
than we would receive. If we do not accurately judge the appreciation prospects of a particular investment or structure the venture appropriately, we may incur losses on joint venture investments or have limited participation in the profits of a joint venture investment, either of which could reduce our ability to pay cash distributions to our stockholders.
Risks Related to Taxes and Our REIT Status
Failure to maintain our qualification as a REIT for federal income tax purposes would subject us to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates, which would substantially reduce our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
GAHR IV qualified and elected to be taxed as a REIT under the Code beginning with its taxable year ended December 31, 2016. To continue to maintain our qualification as a REIT, we must meet various requirements set forth in the Code concerning, among other things, the ownership of our outstanding common stock, the nature of our assets, the sources of our income and the amount of our distributions to our stockholders. The REIT qualification requirements are extremely complex, and interpretations of the federal income tax laws governing qualification as a REIT are limited. Accordingly, we cannot be certain that we will be successful in operating so as to maintain our qualification as a REIT. At any time, new laws, interpretations or court decisions may change the federal tax laws relating to, or the federal income tax consequences of, qualification as a REIT. It is possible that future economic, market, legal, tax or other considerations may cause our board to determine that it is not in our best interest to maintain our qualification as a REIT, and to revoke our REIT election, which it may do without stockholder approval.
If we fail to maintain our qualification as a REIT for any taxable year, we will be subject to federal income tax on our taxable income at corporate rates. In addition, we would generally be disqualified from treatment as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year of losing our REIT status unless the IRS grants us relief under certain statutory provisions. Losing our REIT status would reduce our net earnings available for investment or distribution to our stockholders because of the additional tax liability. In addition, distributions would no longer qualify for the distributions paid deduction, and we would no longer be required to pay distributions. If this occurs, we might be required to borrow funds or liquidate some investments in order to pay the applicable tax.
As a result of all these factors, our failure to maintain our qualification as a REIT could impair our ability to expand our business and raise capital, and would substantially reduce our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
TRSs are subject to corporate-level taxes and our dealings with TRSs may be subject to a 100% excise tax.
A REIT may own up to 100% of the stock of one or more TRSs. Both the subsidiary and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation of which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the stock will automatically be treated as a TRS. Overall, no more than 20.0% (25.0% for taxable years beginning prior to January 1, 2018) of the gross value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more TRSs. A TRS may hold assets and earn income that would not be qualifying assets or income if held or earned directly by a REIT, including gross income from operations pursuant to management contracts. We lease our properties that are “qualified health care properties” to one or more TRSs which, in turn, contract with independent third-party management companies to operate those “qualified health care properties” on behalf of those TRSs. In addition, we may use one or more TRSs generally to hold properties for sale in the ordinary course of a trade or business or to hold assets or conduct activities that we cannot conduct directly as a REIT. A TRS is subject to applicable U.S. federal, state, local and foreign income tax on its taxable income, as well as limitations on the deductibility of its interest expenses. In addition, the Code imposes a 100% excise tax on certain transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis.
If our “qualified health care properties” are not properly leased to a TRS or the managers of those “qualified health care properties” do not qualify as “eligible independent contractors,” we could fail to qualify as a REIT.
In general, under the REIT rules, we cannot directly operate any properties that are “qualified health care properties” and can only indirectly participate in the operation of “qualified health care properties” on an after-tax basis by leasing those properties to independent health care facility operators or to TRSs. A “qualified health care property” is any real property (and any personal property incident to that real property) which is, or is necessary or incidental to the use of, a hospital, nursing facility, assisted living facilities, congregate care facility, qualified continuing care facility, or other licensed facility which extends medical or nursing or ancillary services to patients and is operated by a provider of those services that is eligible for participation in the Medicare program with respect to that facility. Furthermore, rent paid by a lessee of a “qualified health care property” that is a “related party tenant” of ours will not be qualifying income for purposes of the two gross income tests applicable to REITs. However, a TRS that leases “qualified health care properties” from us will not be treated as a “related party tenant” with respect to our “qualified health care properties” that are managed by an “eligible independent contractor.”
An “eligible independent contractor” is an independent contractor that, at the time such contractor enters into a management or other agreement with a TRS to operate a “qualified health care property,” is actively engaged in the trade or business of operating “qualified health care properties” for any person not related to us or the TRS. Among other requirements to qualify as an independent contractor, a manager must not own, directly or applying attribution provisions of the Code, more than 35% of the shares of our outstanding stock (by value), and no person or group of persons can own more than 35.0% of the shares of our outstanding stock and 35.0% of the ownership interests of the manager (taking into account only owners of more than 5% of our shares and, with respect to ownership interest in such managers that are publicly traded, only holders of more than 5% of such ownership interests). The ownership attribution rules that apply for purposes of the 35.0% thresholds are complex. There can be no assurance that the levels of ownership of our shares by our managers and their owners will not be exceeded.
Our stockholders may have a current tax liability on distributions they elected to reinvest in shares of our common stock.
If our stockholders participated in our DRIP Offerings, they will be deemed to have received, and for income tax purposes will be taxed on, the amount reinvested in shares of our common stock to the extent the amount reinvested was not a tax-free return of capital. In addition, our stockholders may be treated, for income tax purposes, as having received an additional distribution to the extent the shares are purchased at a discount from fair market value. As a result, unless our stockholders are a tax-exempt entity, our stockholders may have to use funds from other sources to pay their tax liability on the value of the shares of common stock received.
We may be subject to adverse legislative or regulatory tax changes that could increase our tax liability or reduce our operating flexibility.
In recent years, numerous legislative, judicial and administrative changes have been made in the provisions of federal and state income tax laws applicable to investments similar to an investment in shares of our common stock. Additional changes to the tax laws are likely to continue to occur, and we cannot assure our stockholders that any such changes will not adversely affect our taxation and our ability to continue to qualify as a REIT or the taxation of a stockholder. Any such changes could have an adverse effect on an investment in shares of our common stock or on the market value or the resale potential of our assets. Our stockholders are urged to consult with their tax advisor with respect to the impact of recent legislation on their investment in our stock and the status of legislative, regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in shares of our common stock.
Although REITs generally receive better tax treatment than entities taxed as regular corporations, it is possible that future legislation would result in a REIT having fewer tax advantages, and it could become more advantageous for a company that invests in real estate to elect to be treated for income tax purposes as a regular corporation. As a result, our charter provides our board with the power, under certain circumstances, to revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election and cause us to be taxed as a regular corporation, without the vote of our stockholders. Our board has fiduciary duties to us and our stockholders and could only cause such changes in our tax treatment if it determines in good faith that such changes are in the best interests of our stockholders.
In certain circumstances, we may be subject to federal and state income taxes even if we maintain our qualification as a REIT, which would reduce our cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
Even if we maintain our qualification as a REIT, we may be subject to federal income taxes or state taxes. For example, net income from a “prohibited transaction” will be subject to a 100% tax. We may not be able to make sufficient distributions to avoid excise taxes applicable to REITs. We may also decide to retain capital gains we earn from the sale or other disposition of our property and pay income tax directly on such income. In that event, our stockholders would be treated as if they earned that income and paid the tax on it directly. However, our stockholders that are tax-exempt, such as charities or qualified pension plans, would have no benefit from their deemed payment of such tax liability. We may also be subject to state and local taxes on our income or property, either directly or at the level of the companies through which we indirectly own our assets. Any federal or state taxes we pay will reduce our cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
Dividends payable by REITs generally do not qualify for the reduced tax rates on dividend income as compared to regular corporations, which could adversely affect the value of our shares.
The federal income tax rate for certain qualified dividends payable to domestic stockholders that are individuals, trusts and estates generally is up to 20.0%. Dividends payable by REITs, however, are generally not eligible for these reduced rates for qualified dividends. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permits a deduction for certain pass-through business income, including “qualified REIT dividends” (generally, dividends received by a REIT stockholder that are not designated as capital gain dividends or qualified dividend income), which allows United States individuals, trusts, and estates to deduct up to 20% of such amounts, subject to certain limitations. Although the reduced United States federal income tax rate applicable to dividend income from regular corporate dividends
does not adversely affect the taxation of REITs or dividends paid by REITs, the more favorable rates applicable to qualified dividends from C corporations could cause investors who are individuals, trusts and estates to perceive investments in REITs to be relatively less attractive than investments in the stocks of non-REIT corporations that pay dividends, which could adversely affect the value of the shares of REITs, including our shares.
Dividends on, and gains recognized on the sale of, shares by a tax-exempt stockholder may be subject to United States federal income tax as unrelated business taxable income.
If (i) we are a “pension-held REIT,” (ii) a tax-exempt stockholder has incurred (or is deemed to have incurred) debt to purchase or hold our shares or (iii) a holder of shares is a certain type of tax-exempt stockholder, dividends on, and gains recognized on the sale of, shares by such tax-exempt stockholder may be subject to United States federal income tax as unrelated business taxable income under the Code.
Characterization of our sale-leaseback transactions may be challenged.
We have participated, and may continue to participate, in sale-leaseback transactions in which we purchase real estate investments and lease them back to the sellers of such properties. We will use our best efforts to structure any of our sale-leaseback transactions such that the lease will be characterized as a “true lease” and so that we will be treated as the owner of the property for federal income tax purposes. However, we cannot assure our stockholders that the IRS will not challenge such characterization. In the event that any such sale-leaseback transaction is re-characterized as a financing transaction for federal income tax purposes, deductions for depreciation and cost recovery relating to such real estate investment would be disallowed or significantly reduced. If a sale-leaseback transaction is so re-characterized, we might fail to satisfy the REIT asset tests or income tests and, consequently, lose our REIT status.
Complying with the REIT requirements may cause us to forego otherwise attractive opportunities.
To maintain our qualification as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, we must continually satisfy tests concerning, among other things, the sources of our income, the nature and diversification of our assets, the amounts we distribute to our stockholders and the ownership of shares of our common stock. We may be required to pay distributions to our stockholders at disadvantageous times or when we do not have funds readily available for distribution, or we may be required to liquidate otherwise attractive investments in order to comply with the REIT tests. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our ability to operate solely on the basis of maximizing profits.
Foreign purchasers of shares of our common stock may be subject to FIRPTA tax upon the sale of their shares of our common stock or upon the payment of a capital gains dividend.
A foreign person disposing of a United States real property interest, including shares of stock of a United States corporation whose assets consist principally of United States real property interests, is generally subject to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, as amended, or FIRPTA, on the amount received from the disposition. However, foreign pension plans and certain foreign publicly traded entities are exempt from FIRPTA withholding. Further, such FIRPTA tax does not apply to the disposition of stock in a REIT if the REIT is “domestically controlled.” A REIT is “domestically controlled” if less than 50.0% of the REIT’s stock, by value, has been owned directly or indirectly by persons who are not qualifying United States persons during a continuous five-year period ending on the date of disposition or, if shorter, during the entire period of the REIT’s existence. We cannot assure our stockholders that we will qualify as a “domestically controlled” REIT. If we were to fail to so qualify, amounts received by foreign investors on a sale of shares of our common stock would be subject to FIRPTA tax, unless the shares of our common stock were traded on an established securities market and the foreign investor did not at any time during a specified period directly or indirectly own more than 10.0% of the value of our outstanding common stock. Additionally, a foreign stockholder will likely be subject to FIRPTA upon the payment of any capital gain dividends by us if such gain is attributable to gain from sales or exchanges of United States real property interests. However, these rules do not apply to foreign pension plans and certain publicly traded entities.
If the REIT Merger does not qualify as a tax-free reorganization, there may be adverse tax consequences.
The REIT Merger is intended to qualify as a tax-free reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code. The closing of the REIT Merger was conditioned on the receipt by GAHR IV and GAHR III of an opinion of counsel to the effect that the REIT Merger will qualify as a tax-free reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code. However, these legal opinions will not be binding on the IRS or on the courts. If, for any reason, the REIT Merger were to fail to qualify as a tax-free reorganization, then there would be adverse tax implications to us and our stockholders, which could substantially reduce our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Employee Benefit Plan, IRA, and Other Tax-Exempt Investor Risks
We, and our stockholders that are employee benefit plans, IRAs, annuities described in Sections 403(a) or (b) of the Code, Archer Medical Savings Accounts, health savings accounts, Coverdell education savings accounts, and other arrangements that are subject to ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code (referred to generally as “Benefit Plans and IRAs”) will be subject to risks relating specifically to our having such Benefit Plan and IRA stockholders, which risks are discussed below.
If a stockholder that is a Benefit Plan or IRA fails to meet the fiduciary and other standards under ERISA or the Code as a result of an investment in shares of our common stock, such stockholder could be subject to civil and criminal, if the failure is willful, penalties.
There are special considerations that apply to Benefit Plans and IRAs investing in shares of our common stock. Stockholders that are Benefit Plans and IRAs should consider whether, among other things:
•their investment is consistent with their fiduciary obligations under ERISA and the Code;
•their investment is made in accordance with the documents and instruments governing the Benefit Plan or IRA, including any investment policy;
•their investment satisfies the prudence and diversification requirements of ERISA;
•their investment will not impair the liquidity of the Benefit Plan or IRA;
•their investment will not produce UBTI for the Benefit Plan or IRA; and
•they will be able to value the assets of the Benefit Plan or IRA annually in accordance with ERISA, the Code and the applicable provisions of the Benefit Plan or IRA.
ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code prohibit certain transactions that involve (i) Benefit Plans or IRAs, and (ii) any person who is a “party-in-interest” or “disqualified person” with respect to such a Benefit Plan or IRA. Consequently, the fiduciary or owner of a Benefit Plan or an IRA contemplating an investment in our common stock should consider whether we, any other person associated with the issuance of the common stock, or any of our or their affiliates is or might become a “party-in-interest” or “disqualified person” with respect to the Benefit Plan or IRA and, if so, whether an exemption from such prohibited transaction rules is applicable. In addition, the United States Department of Labor plan asset regulations provide that, subject to certain exceptions, the assets of an entity in which a plan holds an equity interest may be treated as assets of the investing plan, in which event investment made by and certain other transactions entered into by such entity would be subject to the prohibited transaction rules. To avoid our assets from being considered “plan assets,” our charter prohibits “benefit plan investors” from owning 25% or more of the shares of our common stock prior to the time that the common stock qualifies as a class of publicly-offered securities, within the meaning of the plan assets regulation. However, we cannot assure our stockholders that those provisions in our charter will be effective in limiting benefit plan investors’ ownership to less than the 25% limit. Due to the complexity of these rules and the potential penalties that may be imposed, it is important that stockholders that are Benefit Plans and IRAs consult with their own advisors regarding the potential applicability of ERISA, the Code and any similar applicable law.
Stockholders that are Benefit Plans and IRAs may be limited in their ability to withdraw required minimum distributions as a result of an investment in shares of our common stock.
If Benefit Plans or IRAs invest in our common stock, the Code may require such plan or IRA to withdraw required minimum distributions in the future. Our stock will be highly illiquid, and our share repurchase plan only offers limited liquidity. If a Benefit Plan or IRA requires liquidity, it may generally sell its shares, but such sale may be at a price less than the price at which such plan or IRA initially purchased its shares of our common stock. If a Benefit Plan or IRA fails to make required minimum distributions, it may be subject to certain taxes and tax penalties.
Specific rules apply to foreign, governmental and church plans.
As a general rule, certain employee benefit plans, including foreign pension plans, governmental plans established or maintained in the United States (as defined in Section 3(32) of ERISA), and certain church plans (as defined in Section 3(33) of ERISA), are not subject to ERISA’s requirements and are not “benefit plan investors” within the meaning of the plan assets regulation. Any such plan that is qualified and exempt from taxation under Sections 401(a) and 501(a) of the Code may nonetheless be subject to the prohibited transaction rules set forth in Section 503 of the Code and, under certain circumstances in the case of church plans, Section 4975 of the Code. Also, some foreign plans and governmental plans may be subject to foreign, state, or local laws which are, to a material extent, similar to the provisions of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code. Each fiduciary of a plan subject to any such similar law should make its own determination as to the need for, and the availability of, any exemption relief.