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Nationwide Health to Buy 12 Properties


NEWPORT BEACH — Nationwide Health Properties Inc., a nursing-home owner based here, announced plans Thursday to buy 12 nursing homes in the Midwest and Arizona for $74 million.

The company will pay Omega Healthcare Partners of Ann Arbor, Mich., $55 million and assume mortgages amounting to $19 million for the properties, said Mark Desmond, Nationwide's vice president and treasurer. He said the purchase is part of Nationwide's strategy to diversify its mix of tenants, or nursing-home operators.

Nationwide is a real estate investment trust that was originally an arm of Beverly Enterprises Inc., a huge nursing-home operator based in Ft. Smith, Ark. Beverly owned 80% of Nationwide before taking it public in 1985, and after that, it retained 5% of the trust and had an agreement to manage some of its properties.

Beverly now operates two-thirds of Nationwide's 94 properties and will operate 52% after the purchase from Omega, which is expected by the end of July.

"Our ultimate goal is to have no tenant (such as Beverly) represent more than 20% of our portfolio, to spread the risk among various tenants," Desmond said.

He said the agreement with Omega calls for Nationwide to assume the leases currently held by three tenants: ARA Living Centers, Horizon Healthcare Corp. and Life Care Centers of America. In total, the 12 nursing homes, located in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Arizona, have 1,860 beds.

Nationwide's president and chief executive, R. Bruce Andrews, said he was attracted to the purchase by the "quality and financial strength of the lessees and the current profitability of these properties."

Last September, Nationwide bought 12 nursing homes in Texas that were run by ARA Living Centers.

The company currently owns 93 nursing homes and a rehabilitation hospital for head-trauma patients in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In January, Nationwide reported that its net income rose to $17.1 million in 1990, a 47% gain from the $11.6 million posted for 1989. The sale of some facilities caused an 11% drop in revenue between the two years, to $31.5 million from $35.3 million, the company said.

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