To say that Meridian Capital Group had a strong 2020 would be an understatement. Amid all sorts of obstacles that were only compounded by COVID-19 and widespread lockdowns, the firm closed more than $3 billion in transaction volume in 2020, with $776 million for 76 seniors housing and healthcare facilities in 16 states closed over the last six weeks of the year. To reach that kind of volume in a year like 2020 is quite the accomplishment, and we congratulate Senior Managing Directors Ari Adlerstein and Ari Dobkin, Managing Director Josh Simpson, Vice Presidents Matt Lesnik and Jesse Rauch, and Associate David Gottlieb on their efforts. 

Acquisition financings seemed to dominate the group’s end-of-year closings, including for several large skilled nursing portfolios. The team closed $82 million in financing for the purchase and refinance of five skilled nursing facilities with 760 total beds in Florida, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Then, for another five-SNF portfolio in Florida that combined for 660 beds, the Meridian team arranged a $75.7 million acquisition loan.  

There was also $64.2 million in acquisition financing for five facilities with 540 beds in Florida, Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee, $21 million in financing for a 120-bed skilled nursing facility in New Jersey, and $9.5 million in financing for a 123-bed Massachusetts facility. All five loans were provided by finance companies. Meridian Senior Vice President Avi Begun also closed a $7.2 million acquisition loan for an 80-bed SNF in New York and a $6.2 million acquisition loan for a 123-bed skilled nursing facility in Massachusetts. A 99-bed SNF in Pennsylvania was also acquired with $4.25 million in financing secured by the team. 

Meridian also worked with Tim Wurpts of CIBC Bank USA to secure acquisition financings for their clients, including a $34.2 million loan for two New Jersey facilities in Raritan and Cranford comprising 338 skilled nursing and 15 assisted living beds. The buildings, which have an effective age of 20 years, were acquired by the existing operator who had been leasing the facility since 2013.  Historical occupancy has been in the low 90% range with EBITDAR margins approximating 22% on average. In addition to the two-year loan on the real estate, CIBC extended the terms on an existing joint revolving line of credit, which is used to support working capital. 

Other acquisition loans provided by commercial banks included $20 million in financing for the acquisition of a 130-bed SNF in Maryland, $14.7 million for four Iowa facilities totaling 341 skilled nursing beds. 

There were a number of refinances too, the largest being a $79 million loan provided by a finance company for seven Pennsylvania SNFs with 907 total beds. Meridian also secured a $64 million loan from a commercial bank to refinance two SNFs and 307 beds in Maryland, a $59 million loan from finance company for four SNFs and 493 beds in Texas, and a $6 million loan from another finance company for a 98-bed facility in Texas. 

Rounding out the company’s financing activity, Meridian also closed a $3.5 million line of credit from a commercial bank for a 280-bed facility in New York, a $40 million AR line also from a finance company for 18 facilities totaling 2,097 beds in Florida, a $784,000 loan from a commercial bank for a 29-bed SNF in Oklahoma (closed by Meridian Vice President Sim Goldberg), and finally $13.1 million in acquisition financing for seven drug and alcohol facilities consisting of 124 beds in California, Arizona and Nevada. Not only that, but there were also two senior care sales handled by the Meridian team. 

One skilled nursing sale consisted of three facilities in New Hampshire totaling 266 skilled nursing beds and 64 assisted living beds. They sold for $30.5 million, or $92,400 per bed, which was funded by $28.6 million in senior and mezzanine debt, plus a $3 million A/R line, also arranged by Meridian. This sale was the culmination of a year with over $3.0 billion in total closings from the team. That’s an accomplishment any year, not just one marred by a global pandemic. 

Also, in California, the team sold an independent living and assisted living community consisting of 137 units for $65.2 million, or $475,900 per unit. We don’t know many details of the deal, but given that price, we imagine it was either relatively new or located in a highly desirable MSA. Most likely, it was both.