An Alabama real estate investment company specializing in health-care facility acquisitions announced Tuesday it has purchased property occupied by 47-bed Bakersfield Heart Hospital for $49 million.
While Birmingham-based The Sanders Trust will own the facility, the hospital operation will continue to be owned and managed by local doctors working at Bakersfield Heart, both sides of the transaction said Tuesday.
"Basically, instead of, like, owning the house you’re renting the house now,” said one of Bakersfield Heart's physician owners, Dr. Brij Bhambi.
He said the sale helps the hospital by reducing its debt and freeing up money for improvements to the operation.
"It de-leverages our debt," he said, adding in a news release, "BHH remains an integral part of the community."
As an operation, Bakersfield Heart is majority-owned by a local management company called HMG. It is minority-owned by more than a dozen local doctors.
The Sanders Trust says it focuses on developing, buying and managing health-care properties in partnership with health systems and physician groups.
"Our mission is to facilitate a health-care system's use of its real estate assets to achieve their strategic value," CEO Rance Sanders states on the company's website. "The Sanders Trust’s capital and seasoned management team serve to enhance your balance sheet, as well as foster physician relationships and recruitment."
Bakersfield Heart specializes in heart and vascular surgery. It has three operating rooms, an eight-bed emergency department, 12 outpatient surgery beds and four cardiac catheterization labs. The hospital was built in 2000.
"The Sanders Trust is pleased to have the opportunity to acquire this state-of-the-art health-care facility nationally known for its award-winning cardiac care, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction," CEO Sanders stated in Tuesday's news release.
With its purchase of the 85,971-square-foot hospital's real estate, The Sanders Trust said it now owns medical real estate in 27 states.
Bakersfield Heart reported net income of $6.4 million in 2017. It estimated its total assets at $60.4 million.