10-K 1 10-K.htm 10-K  

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

Commission File No. 1-8923

 

 

 

WELLTOWER INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware

 

34-1096634

 

 

 

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

4500 Dorr Street, Toledo, Ohio

 

43615

 

 

 

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

(419) 247-2800

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)  

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, $1.00 par value

New York Stock Exchange

6.50% Series I Cumulative

Convertible Perpetual Preferred Stock, $1.00 par value

New York Stock Exchange

4.800% Notes due 2028

New York Stock Exchange

4.500% Notes due 2034

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes    No 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.  Yes    No  ☑ 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes    No 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  Yes    No 

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer                Accelerated filer                Non-accelerated filer                Smaller reporting company                Emerging growth company    

           (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)            

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes    No  ☑ 

 

The aggregate market value of the shares of voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the closing sales price of such shares on the New York Stock Exchange as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter was $27,562,002,967.

 

As of January 31, 2018, the registrant had 371,669,527 shares of common stock outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the annual stockholders’ meeting to be held May 3, 2018, are incorporated by reference into Part III.

 


 

WELLTOWER INC.

2017 FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

 

PART I

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

2

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

13

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

22

Item 2.

Properties

23

Item 3.

Item 4.

Legal Proceedings

Mine Safety Disclosures

25

25

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

25

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

27

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

28

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

51

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

52

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

87

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

87

Item 9B.

Other Information

88

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

89

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

89

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

89

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

89

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

89

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

90

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

95

 

 

Signature

96

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

PART I

 

Item 1.  Business 

 

General

 

Welltower Inc. (NYSE:WELL), an S&P 500 company headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, is driving the transformation of health care infrastructure.  The company invests with leading seniors housing operators, post-acute providers and health systems to fund real estate and infrastructure needed to scale innovative care delivery models and improve people’s wellness and overall health care experience.  WelltowerTM, a real estate investment trust (“REIT”), owns interests in properties concentrated in major, high-growth markets in the United States (“U.S.”), Canada and the United Kingdom (“U.K.”), consisting of seniors housing and post-acute communities and outpatient medical properties.  Our capital programs, when combined with comprehensive planning, development and property management services, make us a single-source solution for acquiring, planning, developing, managing, repositioning and monetizing real estate assets.  More information is available on the Internet at www.welltower.com.  The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and our web address is included as an inactive textual reference only.

 

Our primary objectives are to protect stockholder capital and enhance stockholder value. We seek to pay consistent cash dividends to stockholders and create opportunities to increase dividend payments to stockholders as a result of annual increases in net operating income and portfolio growth. To meet these objectives, we invest across the full spectrum of seniors housing and health care real estate and diversify our investment portfolio by property type, relationship and geographic location.

 

References herein to “we,” “us,” “our” or the “Company” refer to Welltower Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its subsidiaries unless specifically noted otherwise.

 

Portfolio of Properties

 

Please see “Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation – Executive Summary – Company Overview” for a table that summarizes our portfolio as of December 31, 2017.

 

Property Types

 

We invest in seniors housing and health care real estate and evaluate our business on three reportable segments: triple-net, seniors housing operating and outpatient medical. For additional information regarding our segments, please see Note 17 to our consolidated financial statements.  The accounting policies of the segments are the same as those described in the summary of significant accounting policies in Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements.  The following is a summary of our various property types.

 

Triple-Net

 

Our triple-net properties include independent living facilities and independent supportive living facilities (Canada), continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, care homes with and without nursing (U.K.), Alzheimer’s/dementia care facilities and long-term/post-acute care facilities.  We invest primarily through acquisitions, development and joint venture partnerships. Our properties are primarily leased to operators under long-term, triple-net master leases that obligate the tenant to pay all operating costs, utilities, real estate taxes, insurance, building repairs, maintenance costs and all obligations under certain ground leases. We are not involved in property management.  Our properties include stand-alone facilities that provide one level of service, combination facilities that provide multiple levels of service, and communities or campuses that provide a wide range of services.

 

Independent Living Facilities and Independent Supportive Living Facilities (Canada).  Independent living facilities and independent supportive living facilities are age-restricted, multifamily properties with central dining facilities that provide residents access to meals and other services such as housekeeping, linen service, transportation and social and recreational activities.

 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities.  Continuing care retirement communities typically include a combination of detached homes, an independent living facility, an assisted living facility and/or a long-term/post-acute care facility on one campus. These communities appeal to residents because there is no need to relocate when health and medical needs change. Resident payment plans vary, but can include entrance fees, condominium fees and rental fees. Many of these communities also charge monthly maintenance fees in exchange for a living unit, meals and some health services.

 

Assisted Living Facilities.  Assisted living facilities are state regulated rental properties that provide the same services as independent living facilities, but also provide supportive care from trained employees to residents who require assistance with activities of daily living, including, but not limited to, management of medications, bathing, dressing, toileting, ambulating and eating.

 

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Care Homes with or without Nursing (U.K.).  Care homes without nursing, regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC”), are rental properties that provide essentially the same services as U.S. assisted living facilities. Care homes with nursing, also regulated by the CQC, are licensed daily rate or rental properties where the majority of individuals require 24-hour nursing and/or medical care. Generally, these properties are licensed for various national and local reimbursement programs.  Unlike the U.S., care homes with nursing in the U.K. generally do not provide post-acute care.

 

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care Facilities.  Certain assisted living facilities may include state-licensed settings that specialize in caring for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and/or other types of dementia.

 

Long-Term/Post-Acute Care Facilities.  Our long-term/post-acute care facilities generally include skilled nursing/post-acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term acute care facilities.  Skilled nursing/post-acute care facilities are licensed daily rate or rental properties where the majority of individuals require 24-hour nursing and/or medical care. Generally, these properties are licensed for Medicaid and/or Medicare reimbursement in the U.S. or provincial reimbursement in Canada.  All facilities offer some level of rehabilitation services.  Some facilities focus on higher acuity patients and offer rehabilitation units specializing in cardiac, orthopedic, dialysis, neurological or pulmonary rehabilitation.  Inpatient rehabilitation facilities provide inpatient services for patients with intensive rehabilitation needs.  Long-term acute care facilities provide inpatient services for patients with complex medical conditions that require more intensive care, monitoring or emergency support than is available in most skilled nursing/post-acute care facilities. 

 

     Our triple-net segment accounted for 22%, 28% and 31% of total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.  For the year ended December 31, 2017, our revenues related to our relationship with Genesis HealthCare (“Genesis”) accounted for approximately 20% of our triple-net segment revenues and 4% of our total revenues. As of December 31, 2017, our relationship with Genesis was comprised of a master lease for 86 properties owned 100% by us, three real estate loans totaling approximately $267 million, approximately 9.5 million shares of GEN Series A common stock (representing approximately 6% of total GEN common stock) and a 25% ownership stake in an unconsolidated joint venture that includes a master lease for 28 properties operated by Genesis. In addition to rent, the master lease requires Genesis to pay all operating costs, utilities, real estate taxes, insurance, building repairs, maintenance costs and all obligations under certain ground leases.  All obligations under the master lease have been guaranteed by FC-GEN Operations Investment, LLC, a subsidiary of Genesis. Please see Notes 6 and 21 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information.

 

Seniors Housing Operating

 

Our seniors housing operating properties include several of the facility types described in “Item 1 – Business – Property Types – Triple-Net”, including independent living facilities and independent supportive living facilities, assisted living facilities, care homes and Alzheimer’s/dementia care facilities.  Properties are primarily held in joint venture entities with operating partners. We utilize the structure proposed in 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 authorizing the RIDEA structure were enacted as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008).  See Note 18 to our consolidated financial statements for more information.

 

     Our seniors housing operating segment accounted for 65%, 59% and 56% of total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.  As of December 31, 2017, we had relationships with 17 operators to manage our seniors housing operating properties.  In each instance, our partner provides management services to the properties pursuant to an incentive-based management contract.  We rely on our partners to effectively and efficiently manage these properties.  For the year ended December 31, 2017, our relationship with Sunrise Senior Living accounted for approximately 37% of our seniors housing operating segment revenues and 24% of our total revenues. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information.

 

Outpatient Medical

 

Outpatient Medical Buildings.  The outpatient medical building portfolio consists of health care related buildings that generally include physician offices, ambulatory surgery centers, diagnostic facilities, outpatient services and/or labs. Our portfolio has a strong affiliation with health systems. Approximately 95% of our outpatient medical building portfolio is affiliated with health systems (with buildings on hospital campuses or serving as satellite locations for the health system and its physicians). We typically lease our outpatient medical buildings to multiple tenants and provide varying levels of property management.  Our outpatient medical segment accounted for 13% of total revenues for each of the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015.  No single tenant exceeds 20% of segment revenues.

 

Investments

 

We invest in seniors housing and health care real estate primarily through acquisitions, developments and joint venture partnerships. For additional information regarding acquisition and development activity, please see Note 3 to our consolidated financial statements.  We seek to diversify our investment portfolio by property type, relationship and geographic location. In determining whether to invest in a property, we focus on the following: (1) the experience of the obligor’s/partner’s management

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team; (2) the historical and projected financial and operational performance of the property; (3) the credit of the obligor/partner; (4) the security for any lease or loan; (5) the real estate attributes of the building and its location; (6) the capital committed to the property by the obligor/partner; and (7) the operating fundamentals of the applicable industry.

 

We monitor our investments through a variety of methods determined by the type of property. Our asset management process for seniors housing properties generally includes review of monthly financial statements and other operating data for each property, review of obligor/partner creditworthiness, property inspections, and review of covenant compliance relating to licensure, real estate taxes, letters of credit and other collateral. Our internal property management division manages and monitors the outpatient medical portfolio with a comprehensive process including review of, among other things, tenant relations, lease expirations, the mix of health service providers, hospital/health system relationships, property performance, capital improvement needs, and market conditions.

 

Investment Types

 

Real Property.  Our properties are primarily comprised of land, buildings, improvements and related rights.  Our triple-net properties are generally leased to operators under long-term operating leases.  The leases generally have a fixed contractual term of 12 to 15 years and contain one or more five to 15-year renewal options. Certain of our leases also contain purchase options, a portion of which could result in the disposition of properties for less than full market value.  Most of our rents are received under triple-net leases requiring the operator to pay rent and all additional charges incurred in the operation of the leased property. The tenants are required to repair, rebuild and maintain the leased properties. Substantially all of these operating leases are designed with escalating rent structures. Leases with fixed annual rental escalators are generally recognized on a straight-line basis over the initial lease period, subject to a collectability assessment. Rental income related to leases with contingent rental escalators is generally recorded based on the contractual cash rental payments due for the period.

 

At December 31, 2017, approximately 92% of our triple-net properties were subject to master leases. A master lease is a lease of multiple properties to one tenant entity under a single lease agreement. From time to time, we may acquire additional properties that are then leased to the tenant under the master lease. The tenant is required to make one monthly payment that represents rent on all the properties that are subject to the master lease. Typically, the master lease tenant can exercise its right to purchase the properties or to renew the master lease only with respect to all leased properties at the same time. This bundling feature benefits us because the tenant cannot limit the purchase or renewal to the better performing properties and terminate the leasing arrangement with respect to the poorer performing properties. This spreads our risk among the entire group of properties within the master lease. The bundling feature should provide a similar advantage to us if the master lease tenant is in bankruptcy. Subject to certain restrictions, a debtor in bankruptcy has the right to assume or reject its unexpired leases and executory contracts.  In the context of integrated master leases such as ours, our tenants in bankruptcy would be required to assume or reject the master lease as a whole, rather than deciding on a property by property basis.

 

Our outpatient medical portfolio is primarily self-managed and consists principally of multi-tenant properties leased to health care providers. Our leases typically include increasers and some form of operating expense reimbursement by the tenant. As of December 31, 2017, 80% of our portfolio included leases with full pass through, 19% with a partial expense reimbursement (modified gross) and 1% with no expense reimbursement (gross). Our outpatient medical leases are non-cancellable operating leases that have a weighted-average remaining term of seven years at December 31, 2017 and are often credit enhanced by security deposits, guaranties and/or letters of credit.   

 

Construction.  We provide for the construction of properties for tenants primarily as part of long-term operating leases. We capitalize certain interest costs associated with funds used for the construction of properties owned by us. The amount capitalized is based upon the amount advanced during the construction period using the rate of interest that approximates our Company-wide cost of financing. Our interest expense is reduced by the amount capitalized. We also typically charge a transaction fee at the commencement of construction which we defer and amortize to income over the term of the resulting lease. The construction period commences upon funding and terminates upon the earlier of the completion of the applicable property or the end of a specified period. During the construction period, we advance funds to the tenants in accordance with agreed upon terms and conditions which require, among other things, periodic site visits by a Company representative. During the construction period, we generally require an additional credit enhancement in the form of payment and performance bonds and/or completion guaranties. At December 31, 2017, we had outstanding construction investments of $237,746,000 and were committed to provide additional funds of approximately $429,815,000 to complete construction for investment properties. See Note 3 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information. We also provide for construction loans which, depending on the terms and conditions, could be treated as loans, real property, or investments in unconsolidated entities.

 

Real Estate Loans.  Our real estate loans are typically structured to provide us with interest income, principal amortization and transaction fees and are generally secured by first/second mortgage liens, leasehold mortgages, corporate guaranties and/or personal guaranties. At December 31, 2017, we had gross outstanding real estate loans of $495,871,000.  The interest yield averaged approximately 9.2% per annum on our outstanding real estate loan balances. Our yield on real estate loans depends upon a number of factors, including the stated interest rate, average principal amount outstanding during the term of the loan and any interest rate adjustments. The real estate loans outstanding at December 31, 2017 are generally subject to one to 15-year terms with principal amortization schedules and/or balloon payments of the outstanding principal balances at the end of the term. Typically, real estate loans are cross-defaulted and cross-collateralized with other real estate loans, operating leases or agreements between us and the obligor and its affiliates. See Note 6 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information.

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     Investments in Unconsolidated Entities. Investments in entities that we do not consolidate but have the ability to exercise significant influence over operating and financial policies are reported under the equity method of accounting.  Our investments in unconsolidated entities generally represent interests ranging from 10% to 50% in real estate assets.  Under the equity method of accounting, our share of the investee’s earnings or losses is included in our consolidated results of operations. To the extent that our cost basis is different from the basis reflected at the entity level, the basis difference is generally amortized over the lives of the related assets and liabilities, and such amortization is included in our share of equity in earnings of the entity.  The initial carrying value of investments in unconsolidated entities is based on the amount paid to purchase the entity interest or the estimated fair value of the assets prior to the sale of interests in the entity. We evaluate our equity method investments for impairment based upon a comparison of the estimated fair value of the equity method investment to its carrying value. When we determine a decline in the estimated fair value of such an investment below its carrying value is other-than-temporary, an impairment is recorded.  See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for more information.

 

Principles of Consolidation

     The consolidated financial statements are in conformity with U.S general accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) and include the accounts of our wholly-owned subsidiaries and joint venture entities that we control, through voting rights or other means. All material intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation.

     At inception of joint venture transactions, we identify entities for which control is achieved through means other than voting rights (“variable interest entities” or “VIEs”) and determine which business enterprise is the primary beneficiary of its operations. A VIE is broadly defined as an entity where either (i) the equity investors as a group, if any, do not have a controlling financial interest, or (ii) the equity investment at risk is insufficient to finance that entity’s activities without additional subordinated financial support. We consolidate investments in VIEs when we are determined to be the primary beneficiary.  Accounting Standards Codification Topic 810, Consolidations, requires enterprises to perform a qualitative approach to determining whether or not a VIE will need to be consolidated. This evaluation is based on an enterprise’s ability to direct and influence the activities of a VIE that most significantly impact that entity’s economic performance.

     For investments in joint ventures, U.S. GAAP may preclude consolidation by the sole general partner in certain circumstances based on the type of rights held by the limited partner(s).  We assess the limited partners’ rights and their impact on our consolidation conclusions, and we reassess if there is a change to the terms or in the exercisability of the rights of the limited partners, the sole general partner increases or decreases its ownership of limited partnership interests, or there is an increase or decrease in the number of outstanding limited partnership interests. We similarly evaluate the rights of managing members of limited liability companies.

  

 

Borrowing Policies

 

We utilize a combination of debt and equity to fund investments. Our debt and equity levels are determined by management to maintain a conservative balance sheet and credit profile. Generally, we intend to issue unsecured, fixed-rate public debt with long-term maturities to approximate the maturities on our triple-net leases and investment strategy. For short-term purposes, we may borrow on our primary unsecured credit facility. We replace these borrowings with long-term capital such as senior unsecured notes or common stock. When terms are deemed favorable, we may invest in properties subject to existing mortgage indebtedness. In addition, we may obtain secured financing for unleveraged properties in which we have invested or may refinance properties acquired on a leveraged basis. In certain agreements with our lenders, we are subject to restrictions with respect to secured and unsecured indebtedness.

 

Competition

 

We compete with other real estate investment trusts, real estate partnerships, private equity and hedge fund investors, banks, insurance companies, finance/investment companies, government-sponsored agencies, taxable and tax-exempt bond funds, health care operators, developers and other investors in the acquisition, development, leasing and financing of health care and seniors housing properties. We compete for investments based on a number of factors including relationships, certainty of execution, investment structures and underwriting criteria. Our ability to successfully compete is impacted by economic and demographic trends, availability of acceptable investment opportunities, our ability to negotiate beneficial investment terms, availability and cost of capital, construction and renovation costs, and applicable laws and regulations.

 

The operators/tenants of our properties compete with properties that provide comparable services in the local markets. Operators/tenants compete for patients and residents based on a number of factors including quality of care, reputation, physical appearance of properties, location, services offered, family preferences, physicians, staff, and price. We also face competition from other health care facilities for tenants, such as physicians and other health care providers that provide comparable facilities and services.

 

For additional information on the risks associated with our business, please see “Item 1A — Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Employees  As of January 31, 2018, we had 392 employees.

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Credit Concentrations  Please see Note 8 to our consolidated financial statements.

 

Geographic Concentrations  Please see “Item 2 – Properties” below and Note 17 to our consolidated financial statements.

  

Health Care Industry

 

     The demand for health care services, and consequently health care properties, is projected to reach unprecedented levels in the near future. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) projects that national health expenditures will rise to approximately $3.7 trillion in 2018 or 18.5% of gross domestic product. The average annual growth in national health expenditures for 2015 through 2025 is expected to be 5.8%. While demographics are the primary driver of demand, economic conditions and availability of services contribute to health care service utilization rates. We believe the health care property market may be less susceptible to fluctuations and economic downturns relative to other property sectors. Investor interest in the market remains strong, especially in specific sectors such as private-pay seniors housing and outpatient medical buildings. The total U.S. population for 2015 through 2025 is projected to increase by 9.3%. The elderly population aged 65 and over is projected to increase by 36% through 2025. The elderly are an important component of health care utilization, especially independent living services, assisted living services, long-term/post-acute care services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services and physician ambulatory care. Most health care services are provided within a health care facility such as a hospital, a physician’s office or a seniors housing community. Therefore, we believe there will be continued demand for companies, such as ours, with expertise in health care real estate.

 

     Health care real estate investment opportunities tend to increase as demand for health care services increases.  We recognize the need for health care real estate as it correlates to health care service demand.  Health care providers require real estate to house their businesses and expand their services.  We believe that investment opportunities in health care real estate will continue to be present due to:

·         The specialized nature of the industry, which enhances the credibility and experience of the Company;

·         The projected population growth combined with stable or increasing health care utilization rates, which ensures demand; and

·         The on-going merger and acquisition activity.

 

Certain Government Regulations

 

United States

 

Health Law Matters — Generally

 

     Typically, operators of seniors housing facilities do not receive significant funding from government programs and are largely subject to state laws, as opposed to federal laws.  Operators of long-term/post-acute care facilities and hospitals do receive significant funding from government programs, and these facilities are subject to extensive regulation, including federal and state laws covering the type and quality of medical and/or nursing care provided, ancillary services (e.g., respiratory, occupational, physical and infusion therapies), qualifications of the administrative personnel and nursing staff, the adequacy of the physical plant and equipment, reimbursement and rate setting and operating policies.  In addition, as described below, operators of these facilities are subject to extensive laws and regulations pertaining to health care fraud and abuse, including, but not limited to, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”), the federal Stark Law (“Stark Law”), and the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”), as well as comparable state laws.  Hospitals, physician group practice clinics, and other health care providers that operate in our portfolio are subject to extensive federal, state, and local licensure, registration, certification, and inspection laws, regulations, and industry standards.  Our tenants’ failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could result in, among other things: loss of accreditation; denial of reimbursement; imposition of fines; suspension, decertification, or exclusion from federal and state health care programs; loss of license; or closure of the facility.  See risk factors “The requirements of, or changes to, governmental reimbursement programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid, could have a material adverse effect on our obligors’ liquidity, financial condition and results of operations, which could adversely affect our obligors’ ability to meet their obligations to us” and “Our operators’ or tenants’ failure to comply with federal, state, local, and industry-regulated licensure, certification and inspection laws, regulations, and standards could adversely affect such operators’ or tenants’ operations, which could adversely affect our operators’ and tenants’ ability to meet their obligations to us” in “Item 1A – Risk Factors” below.

 

Licensing and Certification

     

     The primary regulations that affect long-term and post-acute care facilities are state licensing and registration laws.  For example, certain health care facilities are subject to a variety of licensure and certificate of need (“CON”) laws and regulations.  Where applicable, CON laws generally require, among other requirements, that a facility demonstrate the need for (1) constructing a new facility, (2) adding beds or expanding an existing facility, (3) investing in major capital equipment or adding new services, (4) changing the ownership or control of an existing licensed facility, or (5) terminating services that have been previously approved through the CON process.  Certain state CON laws and regulations may restrict the ability of operators to add new properties or

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expand an existing facility’s size or services. In addition, CON laws may constrain the ability of an operator to transfer responsibility for operating a particular facility to a new operator.

 

     With respect to licensure, generally our long-term/post-acute care facilities are required to be licensed and certified for participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal and state health care programs.  The failure of our operators to maintain or renew any required license or regulatory approval as well as the failure of our operators to correct serious deficiencies identified in a compliance survey could require those operators to discontinue operations at a property.  In addition, if a property is found to be out of compliance with Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal or state health care program conditions of participation, the property operator may be excluded from participating in those government health care programs. 

 

Reimbursement

 

     The reimbursement methodologies applied to health care facilities continue to evolve.  Federal and state authorities have considered and may seek to implement new or modified reimbursement methodologies, including value-based reimbursement methodologies that may negatively impact health care property operations.  The impact of any such changes, if implemented, may result in a material adverse effect on our portfolio.  No assurance can be given that current revenue sources or levels will be maintained.  Accordingly, there can be no assurance that payments under a government health care program are currently, or will be in the future, sufficient to fully reimburse the property operators for their operating and capital expenses.

·         Seniors Housing Facilities.  Approximately 60% of our overall revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017 were attributable to U.S. seniors housing facilities.  The majority of the revenues received by the operators of these facilities are from private pay sources. The remaining revenue source is primarily Medicaid provided under state waiver programs for home and community based care.  As of September 30, 2017, 14 of our 43 seniors housing operators received Medicaid reimbursement pursuant to Medicaid waiver programs. For the twelve months ended September 30, 2017, approximately 1.2% of the revenues at our seniors housing facilities were from Medicaid reimbursement.  There can be no guarantee that a state Medicaid program operating pursuant to a waiver will be able to maintain its waiver status.  Rates paid by self-pay residents are set by the facilities and are determined by local market conditions and operating costs.  Generally, facilities receive a higher payment per day for a private pay resident than for a Medicaid beneficiary who requires a comparable level of care.  The level of Medicaid reimbursement varies from state to state.  Thus, the revenues generated by operators of our assisted living facilities may be adversely affected by payor mix, acuity level, changes in Medicaid eligibility, and reimbursement levels.  In addition, a state could lose its Medicaid waiver and no longer be permitted to utilize Medicaid dollars to reimburse for assisted living services.

·         Long-Term/Post-Acute Care Facilities.  Approximately 8% of our overall revenues for the year ended December 31, 2017 were attributable to U.S. long-term/post-acute care facilities.  The majority of the revenues received by the operators of these facilities are from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, with the balance representing reimbursement payments from private payors.  Consequently, changes in federal or state reimbursement policies may adversely affect an operator’s ability to cover its expenses, including our rent or debt service.  Long-term/post-acute care facilities are subject to periodic pre- and post-payment reviews, and other audits by federal and state authorities.  A review or audit of a property operator’s claims could result in recoupments, denials, or delay of payments in the future.  Due to the significant judgments and estimates inherent in payor settlement accounting, no assurance can be given as to the adequacy of any reserves maintained by our property operators to cover potential adjustments to reimbursements, or to cover settlements made to payors. Recent focus on billing practices, payments, and quality of care, or ongoing government pressure to reduce spending by government health care programs, could result in lower payments to long-term/post-acute care facilities and, as a result, may impair an operator’s ability to meet its financial obligations to us.

    Medicare Reimbursement.  For the twelve months ended September 30, 2017, approximately 35% of the revenues at our long-term/post-acute care facilities were paid by Medicare. Generally, long-term/post-acute care facilities are reimbursed under the Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (“SNF PPS”), the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System (“IRF PPS”), or the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System (“LTCH PPS”), which generally provide reimbursement based upon a predetermined fixed amount per episode of care and are updated by CMS, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) annually.  In August 2017, CMS made some positive payment updates for fiscal year (“FY”) 2017 under the SNF PPS, the IRF PPS and the LTCH PPS.  In particular, CMS published a final rule regarding FY 2018 Medicare payment policies and rates for:

§  SNF PPS.  Under the final SNF PPS rule, CMS projects that payments to SNFs will increase in FY 2018 on an aggregate basis by 1.0% from payments in FY 2017. 

§  IRF PPS.  Under the IRF PPS rule, CMS estimates that aggregate payments to IRFs will increase in FY 2018 on an aggregate basis by 0.9% relative to payments in FY 2017.

§  LTCH PPS.  As a result of the continuation of the phase-in of site neutral payment rates for specified cases in LTCHs, CMS projects FY 2018 Medicare payments to LTCHs will decrease by 2.4%.  Payment rates will increase by 1.0% for cases that qualify for the higher standard LTCH PPS rate.  CMS also finalized its proposal to remove from FY 2018 payment rates the temporary 0.6% Medicare Part A hospital payment increase to FY 2017 payment rates implemented in connection with a federal district court’s review of the “Two Midnight” payment policy.

There is a risk under these payment systems that costs will exceed the fixed payments, or that payments may be set below the costs to provide certain items and services.  In addition, the HHS Office of Inspector General has released recommendations to address SNF billing practices and Medicare payment rates.  If followed, these recommendations regarding SNF payment reform may impact our tenants and operators.

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    Medicaid Reimbursement.  For the twelve months ended September 30, 2017, approximately 36% of the revenues of our long-term/post-acute care facilities were paid by Medicaid.  Many states reimburse SNFs, for example, using fixed daily rates, which are applied prospectively based on patient acuity and the historical costs incurred in providing patient care.  In most states, Medicaid does not fully reimburse the cost of providing services.  Certain states are attempting to slow the rate of Medicaid growth by freezing rates or restricting eligibility and benefits.  In addition, Medicaid reimbursement rates may decline if state revenues in a particular state are not sufficient to fund budgeted expenditures. 

·         Medicare Reimbursement for Physicians, Hospital Outpatient Departments (“HOPDs”), and Ambulatory Surgical Centers (“ASCs”).  Changes in reimbursement to physicians, HOPDs, and ASCs may further affect our tenants and operators.  Generally, Medicare reimburses physicians under the Physician Fee Schedule, while HOPDs and ASCs are reimbursed under prospective payment systems.  The Physician Fee Schedule and the HOPD and ASC prospective payment systems are updated annually by CMS.  These annual Medicare payment regulations have resulted in lower net pay increases than providers of those services have often expected.  In addition, the Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (“MACRA”) includes payment reductions for providers who do not meet government quality standards.  The implementation of pay-for-quality models like those required under MACRA is expected to produce funding disparities that could adversely impact some provider tenants in outpatient medical buildings and other health care properties.  Changes in Medicare Advantage plan payments may also indirectly affect our operators and tenants that contract with Medicare Advantage plans.

·         Health Reform Laws.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, the “Health Reform Laws”) dramatically altered how health care is delivered and reimbursed in the U.S. and contained various provisions, including Medicaid expansion and the establishment of Health Insurance Exchanges (“HIEs”) providing subsidized health insurance, that may directly impact us or the operators and tenants of our properties.  Since taking office, President Trump and the current U.S. Congress have sought to modify, repeal, or otherwise invalidate all or portions of the Health Reform Laws. For example, in October 2017, President Trump issued an executive order in which he stated that it is his Administration’s policy to seek the prompt repeal of the Health Reform Laws and directed executive departments and federal agencies to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of the provisions of the Health Reform Laws to the maximum extent permitted by law.  On the same day, the federal government separately announced that cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers offering qualified health plans through the HIEs would end, effective immediately, unless Congress appropriated the funds. Further, in December 2017, the U.S. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which included a provision that eliminates the penalty under the Health Reform Laws’ individual mandate and could impact the future state of the HIEs established by the Health Reform Laws.  There is still uncertainty with respect to the additional impact President Trump’s Administration and the U.S. Congress may have, if any, and any changes will likely take time to unfold, and could have an impact on coverage and reimbursement for health care items and services covered by plans that were authorized by the Health Reform Laws.  We cannot predict whether the existing Health Reform Laws, or future health care reform legislation or regulatory changes, will have a material impact on our operators’ or tenants’ property or business. 

 

     Fraud & Abuse Enforcement

 

     Long-term/post-acute care facilities (and seniors housing facilities that receive Medicaid payments) are subject to federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and applicable guidance that govern the operations and financial and other arrangements that may be entered into by health care providers.  Certain of these laws, such as the AKS and Stark Law, prohibit direct or indirect payments of any kind for the purpose of inducing or encouraging the referral of patients for medical products or services reimbursable by government health care programs.  Other laws require providers to furnish only medically necessary services and submit to the government valid and accurate statements for each service.  Specifically, our operators and tenants that receive payments from federal healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, are subject to substantial financial penalties under the Civil Monetary Penalties Act and the FCA and, in particular, actions under the FCA’s “whistleblower” provisions.  Private enforcement of health care fraud has increased due in large part to amendments to the FCA that encourage private individuals to sue on behalf of the government. In addition, states may also have separate false claims acts, which, among other things, generally prohibit health care providers from filing false claims or making false statements to receive payments.  Still other laws require providers to comply with a variety of safety, health and other requirements relating to the condition of the licensed property and the quality of care provided.  Sanctions for violations of these laws, regulations, and other applicable guidance may include, but are not limited to, criminal and/or civil penalties and fines, loss of licensure, immediate termination of government payments, exclusion from any government health care program, damage assessments, and imprisonment.  In certain circumstances, violation of these rules (such as those prohibiting abusive and fraudulent behavior) with respect to one property may subject other facilities under common control or ownership to sanctions, including exclusion from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as other government health care programs.  In the ordinary course of its business, a property operator is regularly subjected to inquiries, investigations, and audits by the federal and state agencies that oversee these laws and regulations.

 

     Prosecutions, investigations, or whistleblower actions could have a material adverse effect on a property operator’s liquidity, financial condition, and operations, which could adversely affect the ability of the operator to meet its financial obligations to us.  In addition, government investigations and enforcement actions brought against the health care industry have increased dramatically over the past several years and are expected to continue.  Although the responsibility for enforcing these laws and regulations lies with a variety of federal, state and local governmental agencies, some may be enforced by private litigants through federal and state false claims acts and other laws, including some state privacy laws, that allow for private individuals to bring actions.  The costs for an

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operator of a health care property associated with both defending such enforcement actions and the undertakings in settling these actions can be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on the ability of an operator to meet its obligations to us.

 

Federal and State Data Privacy and Security Laws

 

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and numerous other state and federal laws govern the collection, security, dissemination, use, access to and confidentiality of individually identifiable health information.  Violations of these laws may result in substantial civil and/or criminal fines and penalties.  The costs for an operator of a health care property associated with developing and maintaining HIPAA compliance systems, defending enforcement actions and paying any assessed fines, can be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on the ability of an operator to meet its obligations to us.

 

United Kingdom

 

     In the U.K., care home services are principally regulated by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (as amended) and other regulations.  This legislation subjects service providers to a number of legally binding “Fundamental Standards” and requires, amongst other things, that all persons carrying out “Regulated Activities” in the U.K., and the managers of such persons, be registered. Providers of care home services are also subject (as data controllers) to laws governing their use of personal data (including in relation to their employees, clients and recipients of their services).  These laws currently take the form of the U.K.’s Data Protection Act 1998, enforced by the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office, but are expected to be replaced by the European Union’s (“EU”) new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The GDPR will impose a significant number of new obligations with the potential for fines of up to 4% of annual worldwide turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater.  Entities incorporated in or carrying on a business in the U.K. as well as individuals residing in the U.K. are also subject to the U.K. Bribery Act 2010.  The U.K. recently introduced a new national minimum wage with a maximum fine for non-payment of £20,000 per worker and employers who fail to pay will be banned from being a company director for up to 15 years.  The U.K. recently voted to exit from the EU (“Brexit”).  Negotiations on the exit agreement are underway but at present it is not possible to predict whether Brexit will have a material impact on our operators’ or tenants’ property or business.

 

Canada

 

     Retirement homes and long-term care homes are subject to regulation, and long-term care homes receive funding, under provincial law.  There is no federal regulation in this area.  Set out below are summaries of the principal regulatory requirements in the provinces where we have a material number of facilities.

 

     Licensing and Regulation

 

     Alberta

 

     In Alberta, there are three relevant designations for seniors’ living arrangements, ordered below from the most independent to the highest level of care.

·         Retirement Homes (also called independent living) are designed for older adults able to live on their own, and may offer various lifestyle amenities.  These residences may be rented, privately owned, or life-leased, and may be operated for profit or non-profit.  Support services are not usually offered, but can be arranged by residents.  Retirement homes do not generally receive government funding; residents pay for tenancy and services received.  Rental subsidies may be available to qualified seniors. Independent living residences are subject to provincial tenancy and housing laws.

·         Supportive Living (also called assisted living) provides home-like accommodation for residents who wish or need to access care, assistance, and services. Operators provide at least one meal a day and/or housekeeping services.  There are four levels of supportive living, addressing care needs from basic to advanced.  In addition, there are two specialized designations of supportive care to address the needs of residents who require the highest level of care including for those who have cognitive impairments. Supportive living can include senior lodges, group homes, and mental health and designated supportive living accommodations, which can be operated by private for-profit or not-for-profit, or public operators.  Supportive living services are licensed and regulated under provincial laws, and governed by the Ministry of Health.  Operators receiving public funds for health and personal care services must also comply with additional provincial legislation, and are subject to legislated safeguards aimed at investigation of suspected abuse. The maximum accommodation fee in publicly-funded designated supportive living is regulated by Alberta Health. In other supportive living settings, the operator sets the cost of accommodation. Health services are publicly-funded and provided through Alberta Health Services.  Private sector operators are eligible to apply for government funding under a government capital grant program that provides funding to develop long-term care and affordable supportive living spaces.

·         Nursing Homes (also called long-term care) are for residents who have complex, unpredictable medical needs and who require 24-hour on-site registered nurse assessment or treatment. Nursing homes are regulated by provincial laws, and governed by the Ministry of Health.  Operators are not licensed, but enter into agreements with the Ministry for the operation of nursing homes and must comply with certain accommodation standards.  Homes can be operated by private for-profit or

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not-for-profit, or public operators. Operators that receive public funds for health and personal care services must also comply with certain health service standards and legislation aimed at protecting residents.  Alberta Health regulates the maximum accommodation fee in publicly-funded nursing homes.  Health services in long-term care are publicly-funded, provided through Alberta Health Services.  Private sector operators are eligible to apply for government funding, and the Minister may make grants to an operator in respect of its operating or capital costs.

 

Ontario

 

     Retirement homes are regulated and licensed under a provincial law aimed at protecting residents. Retirement homes do not receive government funding; residents enter into tenancy agreements under provincial tenancy law, and pay for tenancy and services received.  Residents may access publicly-funded external care services at the home from external suppliers.  Retirement home licenses are granted by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (“RHRA”), and are non-transferable. The RHRA administers the law governing retirement homes, to ensure that licensees are meeting certain standards, generally with respect to care and safety.  The law requires any person to report to the RHRA when there are reasonable grounds to suspect abuse of a resident by anyone, or neglect of a resident by staff.  The RHRA conducts a mandatory inspection and issues a report that is posted on the RHRA’s public website, and also must be posted in the subject home if it is the most recent report.  The Registrar of the RHRA can receive complaints about a retirement home contravening a provision of the law, and if such a complaint is received, it must be reviewed promptly.  The Registrar has broad powers relating to complaint investigation and action.  The RHRA Registrar has the power to inspect a retirement home at any time without warning or issue a warrant to ensure compliance.  Compliance inspections occur at least every three years. The Registrar has the power to make a variety of orders including the imposition of a fine or an order revoking the operator’s license.  The applicable law also enumerates offenses, such as operating without a license, and provides for penalties for offenses.

 

     British Columbia

 

     Provincial laws regulate and license “community care facilities” (long-term care homes) in substantially the same manner as retirement homes are regulated under Ontario laws. Community care facilities are defined as premises used for the purpose of supervising vulnerable persons who require three or more prescribed services (from a list that includes regular assistance with activities of daily living; distribution of medication; management of cash resources; monitoring of food intake; structured behavior management and intervention; and psychosocial or physical rehabilitative therapy).

 

     Provincial law also recognizes and regulates “assisted living residences,” for seniors who can live independently, but require assistance with certain activities. Services available can include meals, housekeeping, monitoring and emergency support, social/recreational opportunities, and transportation.  Assisted living residences do not require a license, but must be registered with the registrar of assisted living residences and must be operated in a manner that does not jeopardize the health or safety of residents. If the registrar believes the standard is not being met, the registrar may inspect the residence and may suspend or cancel a registration.  Independent living residences offer housing and hospitality services for retired adults who are functionally independent and able to direct their own care.

 

Québec

 

     Provincial laws in Québec regulate retirement homes (private seniors’ residences) as well as long-term care homes (residential and long-term care centers). Private seniors’ residences are required to obtain a certificate of compliance based on prescribed operating standards.  A certificate of compliance is issued for a period of four years and is renewable. The regional health and social agency may revoke or refuse to issue or renew a certificate of compliance if, among other things, the operator fails to comply with the applicable law. The agency may also order corrective measures, further to an inspection, complaint or investigation. The agency is authorized to inspect a residence, at any reasonable time of day, in order to ascertain whether it complies with the law.

 

     Private seniors’ residences may belong to either or both of the following categories: (i) those offering services to independent elderly persons and (ii) those offering services to semi-independent elderly persons. The operator must, for each category, comply with the applicable criteria and standards, with some exceptions for residences with fewer than six or ten rooms or apartments. There are requirements with respect to residents’ health and safety, meal services and recreation, content of residents’ files, disclosure of information to residents, and staffing, among other things.

 

     In May 2017, Quebec adopted the Act to combat maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations, which aims to implement a Quebec-wide framework agreement to combat maltreatment, targets all facilities that provide health services and social services to seniors and vulnerable persons, including health establishments and private residences.  We expect that it will affect private seniors’ residences in the following ways:

·         Health establishments are required to adopt an “Anti-Maltreatment Policy”, providing notably for the measures put in place to prevent maltreatment of persons in vulnerable situations;

·         The policy adopted by health establishments will notably have to include the required adaptation for the implementation of the policy in private sector residences; and

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·         Operators of private seniors’ residences will be required to apply the policy adopted by the integrated health and social services center in their territory, as well as ensure that the policy is known by residents, their family members and their employees.

 

  Other Related Laws

 

     Privacy

 

     The services provided in our facilities are subject to privacy legislation in Canada, including, in certain provinces, privacy laws specifically related to personal health information.  Although the obligations of custodians of personal information in the various provinces differ, they all include the obligation to protect the information.  The organizations with which we have management agreements may be the custodian of personal information collected in connection with the operation of our facilities.

 

     Privacy laws in Canada are consent-based and require the implementation of a privacy program involving policies, procedures and the designation of an individual or team with primary responsibility for privacy law compliance.  Mandatory breach notification to affected individuals is a requirement under some laws.  Mandatory breach notification to the applicable regulator is a requirement in some provinces.  Some laws require notification where personal information is processed or stored outside of Canada.  One provincial law (in Quebec) provides for fines where an organization fails to perform due diligence before outsourcing activities involving personal information to a service provider outside of the province.

 

     The powers of privacy regulators and penalties for violations of privacy law vary according to the applicable law or are left to the courts.  To date, monetary penalties granted have been on the low side, although that is changing with civil actions for breach of privacy and may change further as a result of class action activity.  There are over 60 privacy class actions which have been filed in Canada over recent years although none have yet been decided on their merits.  Regulators have the authority to make public the identity of a custodian that has been found to have committed a breach, so there is a reputational risk associated with privacy law violations even where no monetary damages are incurred. The notification of residents (mandatory under some privacy laws) and other activities required to manage a privacy breach can give rise to significant costs.

 

     Other Legislation

 

     Retirement homes may be subject to residential tenancy laws, such that there can be restrictions on rent increases and termination of tenancies, for instance.  Other provincial and/or municipal laws applicable to fire safety, food services, zoning, occupational health and safety, public health, and the provision of community health care and funded long-term/post-acute care may also apply to retirement homes. 

  

Taxation

 

     U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

 

     General

 

     We elected to be taxed as a REIT commencing with our first taxable year. We intend to continue to operate in such a manner as to qualify as a REIT, but there is no guarantee that we will qualify or remain qualified as a REIT for subsequent years. Qualification and taxation as a REIT depends upon our ability to meet a variety of complex qualification tests imposed under federal income tax law with respect to income, assets, distribution level and diversity of share ownership. There can be no assurance that we will be owned and organized and will operate in a manner so as to qualify or remain qualified.

 

     Failure to Qualify as a REIT

 

     If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year, we will be subject to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. Distributions to stockholders in any year in which we fail to qualify as a REIT will not be deductible nor will any particular amount of distributions be required to be made in any year. All distributions to stockholders will be taxable as ordinary income to the extent of current and accumulated earnings and profits allocable to these distributions and, subject to certain limitations, will be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate stockholders. Unless entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we also will be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which qualification was lost. It is not possible to state whether in all circumstances we would be entitled to statutory relief. Failure to qualify for even one year could result in our need to incur indebtedness or liquidate investments in order to pay potentially significant resulting tax liabilities.

 

     The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Tax Act”)

 

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     The Tax Act made significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws applicable to businesses and their owners, including REITs and their shareholders.  Congressional leaders have recognized that the process of adopting extensive tax legislation in a short amount of time without hearings and substantial time for review may have led to drafting errors, issues needing clarification and unintended consequences that may need to be addressed subsequent tax legislation.  It is unknown when Congress may address these issues or when the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) may issue guidance regarding the interpretation and implementation of the Tax Act.  We cannot predict what impact future legislation and guidance will have on us or our shareholders.

 

Internet Access to Our SEC Filings

 

Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports, as well as our proxy statements and other materials that are filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are made available, free of charge, on the Internet at www.welltower.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. We routinely post important information on our website at www.welltower.com in the “Investors” section, including corporate and investor presentations and financial information.  We intend to use our website as a means of disclosing material, non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Such disclosures will be included on our website under the heading “Investors.”  Accordingly, investors should monitor such portion of our website in addition to following our press releases, public conference calls, and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and our web address is included as an inactive textual reference only.

 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

 

     This Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents incorporated by reference contain statements that constitute “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When we use words such as “may,” “will,” “intend,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “estimate” or similar expressions that do not relate solely to historical matters, we are making forward-looking statements. In particular, these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those relating to our opportunities to acquire, develop or sell properties; our ability to close our anticipated acquisitions, investments or dispositions on currently anticipated terms, or within currently anticipated timeframes; the expected performance of our operators/tenants and properties; our expected occupancy rates; our ability to declare and to make distributions to stockholders; our investment and financing opportunities and plans; our continued qualification as a REIT; and our ability to access capital markets or other sources of funds.

 

     Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to differ materially from our expectations discussed in the forward-looking statements. This may be a result of various factors, including, but not limited to:

          the status of the economy;

          the status of capital markets, including availability and cost of capital;

          issues facing the health care industry, including compliance with, and changes to, regulations and payment policies, responding to government investigations and punitive settlements and operators’/tenants’ difficulty in cost-effectively obtaining and maintaining adequate liability and other insurance;

          changes in financing terms;

          competition within the health care and seniors housing industries;

          negative developments in the operating results or financial condition of operators/tenants, including, but not limited to, their ability to pay rent and repay loans;

          our ability to transition or sell properties with profitable results;

          the failure to make new investments or acquisitions as and when anticipated;

          natural disasters and other acts of God affecting our properties;

          our ability to re-lease space at similar rates as vacancies occur;

          our ability to timely reinvest sale proceeds at similar rates to assets sold;

          operator/tenant or joint venture partner bankruptcies or insolvencies;

          the cooperation of joint venture partners;

          government regulations affecting Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates and operational requirements;

          liability or contract claims by or against operators/tenants;

          unanticipated difficulties and/or expenditures relating to future investments or acquisitions;

          environmental laws affecting our properties;

          changes in rules or practices governing our financial reporting;

          the movement of U.S. and foreign currency exchange rates;

          our ability to maintain our qualification as a REIT;

          key management personnel recruitment and retention; and

          the risks described under “Item 1A — Risk Factors.”

 

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     We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events, or otherwise.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

     This section discusses the most significant factors that affect our business, operations and financial condition. It does not describe all risks and uncertainties applicable to us, our industry or ownership of our securities. If any of the following risks, as well as other risks and uncertainties that are not addressed in this section or that we have not yet identified, actually occur, we could be materially adversely affected and the value of our securities could decline. We group these risk factors into three categories:

          Risks arising from our business;

          Risks arising from our capital structure; and

          Risks arising from our status as a REIT.

 

Risks Arising from Our Business

 

Our investments in and acquisitions of health care and seniors housing properties may be unsuccessful or fail to meet our expectations

 

     We are exposed to the risk that some of our acquisitions may not prove to be successful. We could encounter unanticipated difficulties and expenditures relating to any acquired properties, including contingent liabilities, and acquired properties might require significant management attention that would otherwise be devoted to our ongoing business. If we agree to provide construction funding to an operator/tenant and the project is not completed, we may need to take steps to ensure completion of the project. Such expenditures may negatively affect our results of operations. Investments in and acquisitions of seniors housing and health care properties entail risks associated with real estate investments generally, including risks that the investment will not achieve expected returns, that the cost estimates for necessary property improvements will prove inaccurate or that the tenant, operator or manager will fail to meet performance expectations.  Furthermore, there can be no assurance that our anticipated acquisitions and investments, the completion of which is subject to various conditions, will be consummated in accordance with anticipated timing, on anticipated terms, or at all.  Health care properties are often highly customizable and the development or redevelopment of such properties may require costly tenant-specific improvements.  We also may be unable to quickly and efficiently integrate new acquisitions, particularly acquisitions of portfolios of properties, into our existing operations, and this could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.  As a result, we cannot assure you that we will achieve the economic benefit we expect from acquisitions, investment, development and redevelopment opportunities.  All of the foregoing could affect our ability to continue paying dividends at the current rate.

 

Our investments in joint ventures could be adversely affected by our lack of exclusive control over these investments, our partners’ insolvency or failure to meet their obligations, and disputes between us and our partners

 

     We have entered into, and may continue in the future to enter into, partnerships or joint ventures with other persons or entities. Joint venture investments involve risks that may not be present with other methods of ownership, including the possibility that our partner might become insolvent, refuse to make capital contributions when due or otherwise fail to meet its obligations, which may result in certain liabilities to us for guarantees and other commitments; that our partner might at any time have economic or other business interests or goals that are or become inconsistent with our interests or goals; that we could become engaged in a dispute with our partner, which could require us to expend additional resources to resolve such dispute and could have an adverse impact on the operations and profitability of the joint venture; and that our partner may be in a position to take action or withhold consent contrary to our instructions or requests. In addition, our ability to transfer our interest in a joint venture to a third party may be restricted. In some instances, we and/or our partner may have the right to trigger a buy-sell arrangement, which could cause us to sell our interest, or acquire our partner’s interest, at a time when we otherwise would not have initiated such a transaction. Our ability to acquire our partner’s interest may be limited if we do not have sufficient cash, available borrowing capacity or other capital resources. In such event, we may be forced to sell our interest in the joint venture when we would otherwise prefer to retain it. Joint ventures may require us to share decision-making authority with our partners, which could limit our ability to control the properties in the joint ventures. Even when we have a controlling interest, certain major decisions may require partner approval, such as the sale, acquisition or financing of a property.

 

We are exposed to operational risks with respect to our seniors housing operating properties that could adversely affect our revenue and operations

 

     We are exposed to various operational risks with respect to our seniors housing operating properties that may increase our costs or adversely affect our ability to generate revenues. These risks include fluctuations in occupancy, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, if applicable, and private pay rates; economic conditions; competition; federal, state, local, and industry-regulated licensure, certification and inspection laws, regulations, and standards; the availability and increases in cost of general and professional liability insurance coverage; state regulation and rights of residents related to entrance fees; and the availability and

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increases in the cost of labor (as a result of unionization or otherwise). Any one or a combination of these factors may adversely affect our revenue and operations.

 

Decreases in our operators’ revenues or increases in our operators’ expenses could affect our operators’ ability to make payments to us

 

     Our operators’ revenues are primarily driven by occupancy, private pay rates, and Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, if applicable. Expenses for these facilities are primarily driven by the costs of labor, food, utilities, taxes, insurance and rent or debt service. Revenues from government reimbursement have, and may continue to, come under pressure due to reimbursement cuts and state budget shortfalls. Operating costs continue to increase for our operators. To the extent that any decrease in revenues and/or any increase in operating expenses result in a property not generating enough cash to make payments to us, the credit of our operator and the value of other collateral would have to be relied upon. To the extent the value of such property is reduced, we may need to record an impairment for such asset. Furthermore, if we determine to dispose of an underperforming property, such sale may result in a loss. Any such impairment or loss on sale would negatively affect our financial results.  All of the foregoing could affect our ability to continue paying dividends at the current rate.

 

Increased competition and oversupply may affect our operators’ ability to meet their obligations to us  

 

     The operators of our properties compete on a local and regional basis with operators of properties and other health care providers that provide comparable services for residents and patients, including on the basis of the scope and quality of care and services provided, reputation and financial condition, physical appearance of the properties, price, and location.  Our operators are expected to encounter increased competition in the future that could limit their ability to attract residents or expand their businesses.  In addition, we expect that there will continue to be a more than adequate inventory of seniors housing facilities.  We cannot be certain that the operators of all of our facilities will be able to achieve and maintain occupancy and rate levels that will enable them to meet all of their obligations to us.  If our operators cannot compete effectively or if there is an oversupply of facilities, their financial performance and ability to meet their obligations to us could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.

 

A severe cold and flu season, epidemics or any other widespread illnesses could adversely affect the occupancy of our seniors housing operating and triple-net properties

 

     Our and our operators’ revenues are dependent on occupancy.  It is impossible to predict the severity of the cold and flu season or the occurrence of epidemics or any other widespread illnesses.  The occupancy of our seniors housing operating and triple-net properties could significantly decrease in the event of a severe cold and flu season, an epidemic or any other widespread illness.  Such a decrease could affect the operating income of our seniors housing operating properties and the ability of our triple-net operators to make payments to us.  In addition, a flu pandemic could significantly increase the cost burdens faced by our operators, including if they are required to implement quarantines for residents, and adversely affect their ability to meet their obligations to us, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial results.

 

The insolvency or bankruptcy of our tenants, operators, borrowers, managers and other obligors may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition

 

     We are exposed to the risk that our tenants, operators, borrowers, managers or other obligors may not be able to meet the rent, principal and interest or other payments due us, which may result in a tenant, operator, borrower, manager or other obligor bankruptcy or insolvency, or that a tenant, operator, borrower, manager or other obligor might become subject to bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings for other reasons. Although our operating lease agreements provide us with the right to evict a tenant, demand immediate payment of rent and exercise other remedies, and our loans provide us with the right to terminate any funding obligation, demand immediate repayment of principal and unpaid interest, foreclose on the collateral and exercise other remedies, the bankruptcy and insolvency laws afford certain rights to a party that has filed for bankruptcy or reorganization. A tenant, operator, borrower, manager or other obligor in bankruptcy or subject to insolvency proceedings may be able to limit or delay our ability to collect unpaid rent in the case of a lease or to receive unpaid principal and interest in the case of a loan, and to exercise other rights and remedies. In addition, if a lease is rejected in a tenant bankruptcy, our claim against the tenant may be limited by applicable provisions of the bankruptcy law.  We may be required to fund certain expenses (e.g., real estate taxes and maintenance) to preserve the value of an investment property, avoid the imposition of liens on a property and/or transition a property to a new tenant. In some instances, we have terminated our lease with a tenant and relet the property to another tenant. In some of those situations, we have provided working capital loans to and limited indemnification of the new obligor. If we cannot transition a leased property to a new tenant, we may take possession of that property, which may expose us to certain successor liabilities. Should such events occur, our revenue and operating cash flow may be adversely affected.  All of the foregoing could affect our ability to continue paying dividends at the current rate.

 

We may not be able to timely reinvest our sale proceeds on terms acceptable to us

 

     From time to time, we will have cash available from the proceeds of sales of our securities, principal payments on our loans receivable or the sale of properties, including non-elective dispositions, under the terms of master leases or similar financial support

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arrangements. In order to maintain current revenues and continue generating attractive returns, we expect to re-invest these proceeds in a timely manner. We compete for real estate investments with a broad variety of potential investors, including other health care REITs, real estate partnerships, health care providers, health care lenders and other investors, including developers, banks, insurance companies, pension funds, government-sponsored entities and private equity firms, some of whom may have greater financial resources and lower costs of capital than we do. This competition for attractive investments may negatively affect our ability to make timely investments on terms acceptable to us.

 

We depend on Genesis HealthCare (“Genesis”) and Brookdale Senior Living (“Brookdale”) for a significant portion of our revenues and any failure, inability or unwillingness by them to satisfy obligations under their agreements with us could adversely affect us

 

     The properties we lease to Genesis and Brookdale account for a significant portion of our revenues, and because our leases with Genesis and Brookdale are triple-net leases, we also depend on Genesis and Brookdale to pay all insurance, taxes, utilities and maintenance and repair expenses in connection with the leased properties. We cannot assure you that Genesis and Brookdale will have sufficient assets, income and access to financing to enable them to make rental payments to us or to otherwise satisfy their respective obligations under our leases, and any failure, inability or unwillingness by Genesis or Brookdale to do so could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Although the most recent publicly available financial statements of Genesis reflect going concern disclosures, the operator remains current on rent and the coverage remains above 1.0.  Genesis and Brookdale have also agreed to indemnify, defend and hold us harmless from and against various claims, litigation and liabilities arising in connection with their respective businesses, and we cannot assure you that Genesis and Brookdale will have sufficient assets, income, access to financing and insurance coverage to enable them to satisfy their respective indemnification obligations.  Genesis’s and Brookdale’s failure to effectively conduct their operations or to maintain and improve our properties could adversely affect their business reputations and their ability to attract and retain patients and residents in our properties, which, in turn, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, we have made real estate and other loans to Genesis and their operational or other failures could adversely impact their ability to repay these loans when due.  See Note 21 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding Genesis.

 

The properties managed by Sunrise Senior Living, LLC (“Sunrise”) account for a significant portion of our revenues and operating income and any adverse developments in its business or financial condition could adversely affect us

 

     As of December 31, 2017, Sunrise managed 158 of our seniors housing operating properties.  These properties account for a significant portion of our revenues, and we rely on Sunrise to manage these properties efficiently and effectively.  We also rely on Sunrise to set appropriate resident fees, to provide accurate property-level financial results for our properties in a timely manner and to otherwise operate them in compliance with the terms of our management agreements and all applicable laws and regulations.  Any adverse developments in Sunrise’s business or financial condition could impair its ability to manage our properties efficiently and effectively, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.  Also, if Sunrise experiences any significant financial, legal, accounting or regulatory difficulties, such difficulties could result in, among other things, acceleration of its indebtedness, impairment of its continued access to capital or the commencement of insolvency proceedings by or against it under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which, in turn, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information.

 

Ownership of property outside the U.S. may subject us to different or greater risks than those associated with our domestic operations

 

     We have operations in Canada and the U.K. International development, ownership, and operating activities involve risks that are different from those we face with respect to our domestic properties and operations. These risks include, but are not limited to, any international currency gain recognized with respect to changes in exchange rates may not qualify under the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test that we must satisfy annually in order to qualify and maintain our status as a REIT; challenges with respect to the repatriation of foreign earnings and cash; changes in foreign political, regulatory, and economic conditions (regionally, nationally and locally) including, but not limited to, the U.K.’s June 2016 vote to exit the EU; challenges in managing international operations; challenges of complying with a wide variety of foreign laws and regulations, including those relating to real estate, corporate governance, operations, taxes, employment and other civil and criminal legal proceedings; foreign ownership restrictions with respect to operations in countries; differences in lending practices and the willingness of domestic or foreign lenders to provide financing; regional or country-specific business cycles and political and economic instability; and failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations in the U.S. that affect foreign operations, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 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.

 

If our tenants do not renew their existing leases, or if we are required to sell properties for liquidity reasons, we may be unable to lease or sell the properties on favorable terms, or at all

 

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     We cannot predict whether our tenants will renew existing leases at the end of their lease terms, which expire at various times. If these leases are not renewed, we would be required to find other tenants to occupy those properties or sell them. There can be no assurance that we would be able to identify suitable replacement tenants or enter into leases with new tenants on terms as favorable to us as the current leases or that we would be able to lease those properties at all.

 

     Real estate investments are relatively illiquid and most of the property we own is highly customized for specific uses. Our ability to quickly sell or exchange any of our properties in response to changes in operator, economic and other conditions will be limited. No assurances can be given that we will recognize full value for any property that we are required to sell. Our inability to respond rapidly to changes in the performance of our investments could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we are exposed to the risks inherent in concentrating investments in real estate, and in particular, the seniors housing and health care industries. A downturn in the real estate industry could adversely affect the value of our properties and our ability to sell properties for a price or on terms acceptable to us.  All of the foregoing could affect our ability to continue paying dividends at the current rate.

 

Our tenants, operators and managers may not have the necessary insurance coverage to insure adequately against losses

 

     We maintain or require our tenants, operators and managers to maintain comprehensive insurance coverage on our properties and their operations with terms, conditions, limits and deductibles that we believe are customary for similarly-situated companies in our industry, and we frequently review our insurance programs and requirements.  That said, we cannot assure you that we or our tenants, operators or managers will continue to be able to maintain adequate levels of insurance and required coverages or that we will continue to require the same levels of insurance coverage under our lease, management and other agreements, which could adversely affect us in the event of a significant uninsured loss.  Also, in recent years, long-term/post-acute care and seniors housing operators and managers have experienced substantial increases in both the number and size of patient care liability claims. As a result, general and professional liability costs have increased in some markets. General and professional liability insurance coverage may be restricted or very costly, which may adversely affect the tenants’, operators’ and managers’ future operations, cash flows and financial condition, and may have a material adverse effect on the tenants’, operators’ and managers’ ability to meet their obligations to us. 

 

Our ownership of properties through ground leases exposes us to the loss of such properties upon breach or termination of the ground leases

 

     We have acquired an interest in certain of our properties by acquiring a leasehold interest in the property on which the building is located, and we may acquire additional properties in the future through the purchase of interests in ground leases. As the lessee under a ground lease, we are exposed to the possibility of losing the property upon termination of the ground lease or an earlier breach of the ground lease by us.

 

The requirements of, or changes to, governmental reimbursement programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid or government funding, could have a material adverse effect on our obligors’ liquidity, financial condition and results of operations, which could adversely affect our obligors’ ability to meet their obligations to us

 

     Some of our obligors’ businesses are affected by government reimbursement. To the extent that an operator/tenant receives a significant portion of its revenues from government payors, primarily Medicare and Medicaid, such revenues may be subject to statutory and regulatory changes, retroactive rate adjustments, recovery of program overpayments or set-offs, court decisions, administrative rulings, policy interpretations, payment or other delays by fiscal intermediaries or carriers, government funding restrictions (at a program level or with respect to specific facilities) and interruption or delays in payments due to any ongoing government investigations and audits at such property. In recent years, government payors have frozen or reduced payments to health care providers due to budgetary pressures. Health care reimbursement will likely continue to be of paramount importance to federal and state authorities. We cannot make any assessment as to the ultimate timing or effect any future legislative reforms may have on the financial condition of our obligors and properties. There can be no assurance that adequate reimbursement levels will be available for services provided by any property operator, whether the property receives reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid or private payors. Significant limits on the scope of services reimbursed and on reimbursement rates and fees could have a material adverse effect on an obligor’s liquidity, financial condition and results of operations, which could adversely affect the ability of an obligor to meet its obligations to us.

 

     The Health Reform Laws, provide those states that expand their Medicaid coverage to otherwise eligible state residents with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level with an increased federal medical assistance percentage, effective January 1, 2014, when certain conditions are met. Given that the federal government substantially funds the Medicaid expansion, it is unclear how many states will ultimately pursue this option, although, as of early February 2018, more than 60% of the states have expanded Medicaid coverage. The participation by states in the Medicaid expansion could have the dual effect of increasing our tenants’ revenues, through new patients, but further straining state budgets and their ability to pay our tenants. We expect that the current Presidential Administration and U.S. Congress will seek to modify, repeal, or otherwise invalidate all, or certain provisions of, the Health Reform Laws, including Medicaid expansion. Since taking office, President Trump has continued to support the repeal of all or portions of the Health Reform Laws.  See “Item 1 — Business — Certain Government Regulations — United States — Reimbursement” above for additional information. If the operations, cash flows or financial condition of our operators and tenants are

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materially adversely impacted by the Health Reform Laws or future legislation, our revenue and operations may be adversely affected as well. More generally, and because of the dynamic nature of the legislative and regulatory environment for health care products and services, and in light of existing federal deficit and budgetary concerns, we cannot predict the impact that broad-based, far-reaching legislative or regulatory changes could have on the U.S. economy, our business, or that of our operators and tenants.

 

Our operators’ or tenants’ failure to comply with federal, state, province, local, and industry-regulated licensure, certification and inspection laws, regulations, and standards could adversely affect such operators’ or tenants’ operations, which could adversely affect our operators’ and tenants’ ability to meet their obligations to us

 

     Our operators and tenants generally are subject to varying levels of federal, state, local, and industry-regulated licensure, certification and inspection laws, regulations, and standards. Our operators’ or tenants’ failure to comply with any of these laws, regulations, or standards could result in loss of accreditation, denial of reimbursement, imposition of fines, suspension, decertification or exclusion from federal and state health care programs, loss of license or closure of the facility. Such actions may have an effect on our operators’ or tenants’ ability to make lease payments to us and, therefore, adversely impact us. See “Item 1 — Business — Certain Government Regulations — United States — Fraud & Abuse Enforcement” above.

 

     Many of our properties may require a license, registration, and/or CON to operate. Failure to obtain a license, registration, or CON, or loss of a required license, registration, or CON would prevent a facility from operating in the manner intended by the operators or tenants. These events could materially adversely affect our operators’ or tenants’ ability to make rent or other obligatory payments to us. State and local laws also may regulate the expansion, including the addition of new beds or services or acquisition of medical equipment, and the construction or renovation of health care facilities, by requiring a CON or other similar approval from a state agency. See “Item 1 — Business — Certain Government Regulations — United States — Licensing and Certification” above.

 

The real estate market and our business may be negatively impacted by changes to U.S. tax laws

 

     The Tax Act adopted on December 22, 2017 significantly changes the U.S. income tax rules for individuals and corporations.  We are continuing to evaluate the impact of the Tax Act and, as such, its implications for our business remain uncertain.  Although the Tax Act involves comprehensive changes to the system of corporate income tax, it does not substantively change the manner in which REITs are taxed.  Although numerous provisions of the Tax Act do affect REITs, we are generally not subject to pay federal taxes applicable to regular corporations if we comply with the tax regulations governing REIT status.  Nonetheless, the Tax Act makes numerous changes to the individual income tax rules that may affect the real estate market in the U.S., including limitations on the deductibility of state and local property taxes, the elimination of the deductibility of interest on new home equity loans and a reduction in the limit for an individual’s mortgage interest expense to interest on $750,000 of mortgages.  Although the impact of these changes is likely to be most significant in the residential real estate market, rather than in the sectors where we operate, the effects of these changes on the broader real estate market in the geographic areas in which we operate and on our tenants remain uncertain.

 

Changes in applicable tax regulations could negatively affect our financial results

 

     We are subject to taxation in the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions.  Because, even with the passage of the Tax Act, the U.S. maintains a worldwide corporate tax system, the foreign and U.S. tax systems are somewhat interdependent.  Longstanding international norms that determine each country’s jurisdiction to tax cross-border international trade are evolving, such as the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project (“BEPS”) currently being undertaken by the G8, G20 and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Tax changes pursuant to BEPS could reduce the ability of our foreign subsidiaries to deduct for foreign tax purposes the interest they pay on loans from us, thereby, increasing the foreign tax liability of the subsidiaries; it is also possible that foreign countries could increase their withholding taxes on dividends and interest.  Given the unpredictability of these possible changes and their potential interdependency, it is very difficult to assess the overall effect of such potential tax changes on our earnings and cash flow, but such changes could adversely impact our financial results.

 

Unfavorable resolution of pending and future litigation matters and disputes could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition

 

     From time to time, we may be directly involved in a number of legal proceedings, lawsuits and other claims. We may also be named as defendants in lawsuits allegedly arising out of our actions or the actions of our operators/tenants or managers in which such operators/tenants or managers have agreed to indemnify, defend and hold us harmless from and against various claims, litigation and liabilities arising in connection with their respective businesses. An unfavorable resolution of pending or future litigation or legal proceedings may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Regardless of its outcome, litigation may result in substantial costs and expenses and significantly divert the attention of management. There can be no assurance that we will be able to prevail in, or achieve a favorable settlement of, pending or future litigation. In addition, pending litigation or future litigation, government proceedings or environmental matters could lead to increased costs or interruption of our normal business operations.

 

Development, redevelopment and construction risks could affect our profitability

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     At any given time, we may be in the process of constructing one or more new facilities that ultimately will require a CON and license before they can be utilized by the operator for their intended use. The operator also may need to obtain Medicare and Medicaid certification and enter into Medicare and Medicaid provider agreements and/or third party payor contracts. In the event that the operator is unable to obtain the necessary CON, licensure, certification, provider agreements or contracts after the completion of construction, there is a risk that we will not be able to earn any revenues on the facility until either the initial operator obtains a license or certification to operate the new facility and the necessary provider agreements or contracts or we find and contract with a new operator that is able to obtain a license to operate the facility for its intended use and the necessary provider agreements or contracts.

 

     In connection with our renovation, redevelopment, development and related construction activities, we may be unable to obtain, or suffer delays in obtaining, necessary zoning, land-use, building, occupancy and other required governmental permits and authorizations. These factors could result in increased costs or our abandonment of these projects. In addition, we may not be able to obtain financing on favorable terms, which may render us unable to proceed with our development activities, and we may not be able to complete construction and lease-up of a property on schedule, which could result in increased debt service expense or construction costs. Additionally, the time frame required for development, construction and lease-up of these properties means that we may have to wait years for significant cash returns. Because we are required to make cash distributions to our stockholders, if the cash flow from operations or refinancing is not sufficient, we may be forced to borrow additional money to fund such distributions. Newly developed and acquired properties may not produce the cash flow that we expect, which could adversely affect our overall financial performance.

 

     In deciding whether to acquire or develop a particular property, we make assumptions regarding the expected future performance of that property. In particular, we estimate the return on our investment based on expected occupancy, rental rates and capital costs. If our financial projections with respect to a new property are inaccurate as a result of increases in capital costs or other factors, the property may fail to perform as we expected in analyzing our investment. Our estimate of the costs of repositioning or redeveloping an acquired property may prove to be inaccurate, which may result in our failure to meet our profitability goals. Additionally, we may acquire new properties that are not fully leased, and the cash flow from existing operations may be insufficient to pay the operating expenses and debt service associated with that property.

 

We may experience losses caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters, which could result in an increase of our or our tenants’ cost of insurance, a decrease in our anticipated revenues or a significant loss of the capital we have invested in a property

 

     We maintain or require our tenants to maintain comprehensive insurance coverage on our properties with terms, conditions, limits and deductibles that we believe are appropriate given the relative risk and costs of such coverage, and we frequently review our insurance programs and requirements. However, a large number of our properties are located in areas particularly susceptible to revenue loss, cost increase or damage caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. We believe, given current industry practice and analysis prepared by outside consultants, that our and our tenants’ insurance coverage is appropriate to cover reasonably anticipated losses that may be caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and other severe weather conditions and natural disasters, including the effects of climate change. Nevertheless, we are always subject to the risk that such insurance will not fully cover all losses and, depending on the severity of the event and the impact on our properties, such insurance may not cover a significant portion of the losses. These losses may lead to an increase of our and our tenants’ cost of insurance, a decrease in our anticipated revenues from an affected property and a loss of all or a portion of the capital we have invested in an affected property.  In addition, we or our tenants may not purchase insurance under certain circumstances if the cost of insurance exceeds, in our or our tenants’ judgment, the value of the coverage relative to the risk of loss.

 

We may incur costs to remediate environmental contamination at our properties, which could have an adverse effect on our or our obligors’ business or financial condition

 

     Under various laws, owners or operators of real estate may be required to respond to the presence or release of hazardous substances on the property and may be held liable for property damage, personal injuries or penalties that result from environmental contamination or exposure to hazardous substances. We may become liable to reimburse the government for damages and costs it incurs in connection with the contamination. Generally, such liability attaches to a person based on the person’s relationship to the property. Our tenants or borrowers are primarily responsible for the condition of the property. Moreover, we review environmental site assessments of the properties that we own or encumber prior to taking an interest in them. Those assessments are designed to meet the “all appropriate inquiry” standard, which we believe qualifies us for the innocent purchaser defense if environmental liabilities arise. Based upon such assessments, we do not believe that any of our properties are subject to material environmental contamination. However, environmental liabilities may be present in our properties and we may incur costs to remediate contamination, which could have a material adverse effect on our business or financial condition or the business or financial condition of our obligors.

 

Cybersecurity incidents could disrupt our business and result in the loss of confidential information

 

     Our business is at risk from and may be impacted by cybersecurity attacks, including attempts to gain unauthorized access to our confidential data, and other electronic security breaches, including those resulting from human error, product defects and technology failures. Such cyber-attacks can range from individual attempts to gain unauthorized access to our information technology systems to

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more sophisticated security threats. While we employ a number of measures to prevent, detect and mitigate these threats, there is no guarantee such efforts will be successful in preventing a cyber-attack. Cybersecurity incidents could disrupt our business, compromise the confidential information of our employees, operators, tenants and partners, damage our reputation and have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our success depends on key personnel whose continued service is not guaranteed

 

     Our success depends on the continued availability and service of key personnel, including our executive officers and other highly qualified employees, and competition for their talents is intense.  We cannot assure you that we will retain our key personnel or that we will be able to recruit and retain other highly qualified employees in the future.  Losing any key personnel could, at least temporarily, have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.

 

Risks Arising from Our Capital Structure

 

Our certificate of incorporation and by-laws contain anti-takeover provisions

 

     Our certificate of incorporation and by-laws contain anti-takeover provisions (restrictions on share ownership and transfer and super majority stockholder approval requirements for business combinations) that could make it more difficult for or even prevent a third party from acquiring us without the approval of our incumbent Board of Directors. Provisions and agreements that inhibit or discourage takeover attempts could reduce the market value of our common stock.

 

We may become more leveraged

 

     Permanent financing for our investments is typically provided through a combination of public offerings of debt and equity securities and the incurrence or assumption of secured debt. The incurrence or assumption of indebtedness may cause us to become more leveraged, which could (1) require us to dedicate a greater portion of our cash flow to the payment of debt service, (2) make us more vulnerable to a downturn in the economy, (3) limit our ability to obtain additional financing, or (4) negatively affect our credit ratings or outlook by one or more of the rating agencies.

 

Cash available for distributions to stockholders may be insufficient to make dividend contributions at expected levels and are made at the discretion of the Board of Directors

 

     If cash available for distribution generated by our assets decreases due to dispositions or otherwise, we may be unable to make dividend distributions at expected levels.  Our inability to make expected distributions would likely result in a decrease in the market price of our common stock.  All distributions are made at the discretion of our Board of Directors in accordance with Delaware law and depend on our earnings, our financial condition, debt and equity capital available to us, our expectation of our future capital requirements and operating performance, restrictive covenants in our financial and other contractual arrangements, maintenance of our REIT qualification, restrictions under Delaware law and other factors as our Board of Directors may deem relevant from time to time.  Additionally, our ability to make distributions will be adversely affected if any of the risks described herein, or other significant adverse events, occur.

 

We are subject to covenants in our debt agreements that could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition

 

     Our debt agreements contain various covenants, restrictions and events of default. Among other things, these provisions require us to maintain certain financial ratios and minimum net worth and impose certain limits on our ability to incur indebtedness, create liens and make investments or acquisitions. Breaches of these covenants could result in defaults under the instruments governing the applicable indebtedness, in addition to any other indebtedness cross-defaulted against such instruments. These defaults could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

Limitations on our ability to access capital could have an adverse effect on our ability to make future investments or to meet our obligations and commitments

 

     We cannot assure you that we will be able to raise the capital necessary to make future investments or to meet our obligations and commitments as they mature.  Our access to capital depends upon a number of factors over which we have little or no control, including rising interest rates, inflation and other general market conditions; the market’s perception of our growth potential and our current and potential future earnings and cash distributions; the market price of the shares of our capital stock and the credit ratings of our debt securities; the financial stability of our lenders, which might impair their ability to meet their commitments to us or their willingness to make additional loans to us; changes in the credit ratings on U.S. government debt securities; or default or delay in payment by the U.S. of its obligations. If our access to capital is limited by these factors or other factors, it could negatively impact our ability to acquire properties, repay or refinance our indebtedness, fund operations or make distributions to our stockholders.

 

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Downgrades in our credit ratings could have a material adverse impact on our cost and availability of capital

 

     We plan to manage the Company to maintain a capital structure consistent with our current profile, but there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain our current credit ratings. Any downgrades in terms of ratings or outlook by any or all of the rating agencies could have a material adverse impact on our cost and availability of capital, which could in turn have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, liquidity and/or financial condition.

 

Increases in interest rates could have a material adverse impact on our cost of capital

 

     An increase in interest rates may increase interest cost on new and existing variable rate debt.  Such increases in the cost of capital could adversely impact our ability to finance operations, the acquisition and development of properties, and refinance existing debt.  Additionally, increased interest rates may also result in less liquid property markets, limiting our ability to sell existing assets.

 

Fluctuations in the value of foreign currencies could adversely affect our results of operations and financial position

 

     Currency exchange rate fluctuations could affect our results of operations and financial position. We generate a portion of our revenue and expenses in such foreign currencies as the Canadian dollar and the British pound sterling. Although we may enter into foreign exchange agreements with financial institutions and/or obtain local currency mortgage debt in order to reduce our exposure to fluctuations in the value of foreign currencies, we cannot assure you that foreign currency fluctuations will not have a material adverse effect on us.

 

Our entry into hedge agreements may not effectively reduce our exposure to changes in interest rates or foreign currency exchange rates

 

     We enter into hedge agreements from time to time to manage some of our exposure to interest rate and foreign currency exchange rate volatility. These agreements involve risks, such as the risk that counterparties may fail to honor their obligations under these arrangements. In addition, these arrangements may not be effective in reducing our exposure to changes in interest rates or foreign currency exchange rates. When we use forward-starting interest rate swaps, there is a risk that we will not complete the long-term borrowing against which the swap is intended to hedge. If such events occur, our results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

Risks Arising from Our Status as a REIT

 

We might fail to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT

 

     We intend to operate as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and believe we have and will continue to operate in such a manner. If we lose our status as a REIT, we will face serious income tax consequences that will substantially reduce the funds available for satisfying our obligations and for distribution to our stockholders because:

          we would not be allowed a deduction for distributions to stockholders in computing our taxable income and would be subject to U.S. federal income tax at regular corporate rates;

          we could be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax and possibly increased state and local taxes; and

          unless we are entitled to relief under statutory provisions, we could not elect to be subject to tax as a REIT for four taxable years following the year during which we were disqualified.

 

     Since REIT qualification requires us to meet a number of complex requirements, it is possible that we may fail to fulfill them, and if we do, our earnings will be reduced by the amount of U.S. federal and other income taxes owed. A reduction in our earnings would affect the amount we could distribute to our stockholders. If we do not qualify as a REIT, we would not be required to make distributions to stockholders since a non-REIT is not required to pay dividends to stockholders in order to maintain REIT status or avoid an excise tax. In addition, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, all distributions to stockholders would continue to be treated as dividends to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, although corporate stockholders may be eligible for the dividends received deduction, and individual stockholders may be eligible for taxation at the rates generally applicable to long-term capital gains (currently at a maximum rate of 20%) with respect to distributions.

 

     As a result of all these factors, our failure to qualify as a REIT also could impair our ability to implement our business strategy and would adversely affect the value of our common stock. Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which there are only limited judicial and administrative interpretations. The determination of various factual matters and circumstances not entirely within our control may affect our ability to remain qualified as a REIT. Although we believe that we qualify as a REIT, we cannot assure you that we will continue to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

Certain subsidiaries might fail to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT

 

20


 

     We own interests in a number of entities which have elected to be taxed as REITs for U.S. federal income tax purposes, some of which we consolidate for financial reporting purposes but each of which is treated as a separate REIT for federal income tax purposes (each a “Subsidiary REIT”).  To qualify as a REIT, each Subsidiary REIT must independently satisfy all of the REIT qualification requirements under the Code, together with all other rules applicable to REITs.  Provided that each Subsidiary REIT qualifies as a REIT, our interests in the Subsidiary REITs will be treated as qualifying real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests.  If a Subsidiary REIT fails to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, such Subsidiary REIT will be subject to federal and state income taxes and may not be able to qualify as a REIT for the four subsequent taxable years.  Any such failure could have an adverse effect on our ability to comply with the REIT income and asset tests, and thus our ability to qualify as a REIT, unless we are able to avail ourselves of certain relief provisions.

 

The 90% annual distribution requirement will decrease our liquidity and may limit our ability to engage in otherwise beneficial transactions

 

     To comply with the 90% distribution requirement applicable to REITs and to avoid the nondeductible excise tax, we must make distributions to our stockholders. Although we anticipate that we generally will have sufficient cash or liquid assets to enable us to satisfy the REIT distribution requirement, it is possible that, from time to time, we may not have sufficient cash or other liquid assets to meet the 90% distribution requirement, or we may decide to retain cash or distribute such greater amount as may be necessary to avoid income and excise taxation. This may be due to timing differences between the actual receipt of income and actual payment of deductible expenses, on the one hand, and the inclusion of that income and deduction of those expenses in arriving at our taxable income, on the other hand. In addition, non-deductible expenses such as principal amortization or repayments or capital expenditures in excess of non-cash deductions may cause us to fail to have sufficient cash or liquid assets to enable us to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement. In the event that timing differences occur, or we deem it appropriate to retain cash, we may borrow funds, issue additional equity securities (although we cannot assure you that we will be able to do so), pay taxable stock dividends, if possible, distribute other property or securities or engage in another transaction intended to enable us to meet the REIT distribution requirements. This may require us to raise additional capital to meet our obligations.

 

The lease of qualified health care properties to a taxable REIT subsidiary is subject to special requirements

 

     We lease certain qualified health care properties to taxable REIT subsidiaries (or limited liability companies of which the taxable REIT subsidiaries are members), which lessees contract with managers (or related parties) to manage the health care operations at these properties. The rents from this taxable REIT subsidiary lessee structure are treated as qualifying rents from real property if (1) they are paid pursuant to an arms-length lease of a qualified health care property with a taxable REIT subsidiary and (2) the manager qualifies as an eligible independent contractor (as defined in the Code). If any of these conditions are not satisfied, then the rents will not be qualifying rents.

 

If certain sale-leaseback transactions are not characterized by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) as “true leases,” we may be subject to adverse tax consequences

 

     We have purchased certain properties and leased them back to the sellers of such properties, and we may enter into similar transactions in the future. We intend for any such sale-leaseback transaction to be structured in such a manner that the lease will be characterized as a “true lease,” thereby allowing us to be treated as the owner of the property for U.S. federal income tax purposes. However, depending on the terms of any specific transaction, the IRS might take the position that the transaction is not a “true lease” but is more properly treated in some other manner. In the event any sale-leaseback transaction is challenged and successfully re-characterized by the IRS, we would not be entitled to claim the deductions for depreciation and cost recovery generally available to an owner of property. Furthermore, if a sale-leaseback transaction were so re-characterized, we might fail to satisfy the REIT asset tests or income tests and, consequently, could lose our REIT status effective with the year of re-characterization. Alternatively, the amount of our REIT taxable income could be recalculated, which may cause us to fail to meet the REIT annual distribution requirements for a taxable year.

 

We could be subject to changes in our tax rates, the adoption of new U.S. or international tax legislation, or exposure to additional tax liabilities

 

     We are subject to taxes in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions.  Our analysis of the Tax Act may be impacted by any corrective legislation and any guidance provided by the U.S. Treasury, the IRS or by the General Explanation of the Tax Act, which is under preparation by the Staff of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.  Our effective tax rates could be affected by changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, or changes in tax laws or their interpretation.  We are also subject to the examination of our tax returns and other tax matters by the IRS and other tax authorities and governmental bodies.  We regularly assess the likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for taxes.  There can be no assurance as to the outcome of these examinations.  If we were subject to review or examination by the IRS or applicable foreign jurisdiction as the result of any new tax law changes (including the recently enacted Tax Act) the ultimate determination of which may change our taxes owed for an amount in excess of amounts previously accrued or recorded, our financial condition, operating results, and cash flows could be adversely affected.

21


 

 

Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

22


 

Item 2.  Properties 

 

We own our corporate headquarters located at 4500 Dorr Street, Toledo, Ohio 43615. We also lease corporate offices in Canada, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg and have ground leases relating to certain of our properties. The following table sets forth certain information regarding the properties that comprise our consolidated real property and real estate loan investments as of December 31, 2017 (dollars in thousands and annualized revenues adjusted for timing of investment):

 

 

 

 

Triple-net

 

Seniors Housing Operating

Property Location

 

Number of Properties

 

Total Investment

 

Annualized Revenues

 

Number of Properties

 

Total Investment

 

Annualized Revenues

 

Alabama

 

4

 

$

34,374

 

$

4,198

 

-

 

$

-

 

$

-

 

Arizona

 

2

 

 

26,771

 

 

2,349

 

4

 

 

59,180

 

 

22,940

 

California

 

25

 

 

425,291

 

 

50,368

 

71

 

 

2,629,870

 

 

636,760

 

Colorado

 

8

 

 

253,330

 

 

22,718

 

5

 

 

137,842

 

 

39,864

 

Connecticut

 

13

 

 

162,800

 

 

20,314

 

17

 

 

420,700

 

 

135,459

 

District Of Columbia

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

1

 

 

62,508

 

 

14,169

 

Delaware

 

6

 

 

102,090

 

 

12,340

 

1

 

 

20,657

 

 

6,750

 

Florida

 

21

 

 

208,011

 

 

22,468

 

9

 

 

714,900

 

 

110,064

 

Georgia

 

3

 

 

21,769

 

 

4,435

 

7

 

 

119,906

 

 

35,284

 

Iowa

 

4

 

 

55,228

 

 

5,588

 

1

 

 

31,736

 

 

11,292

 

Idaho

 

2

 

 

21,801

 

 

3,547

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

Illinois

 

9

 

 

157,493

 

 

16,926

 

14

 

 

438,607

 

 

111,523

 

Indiana

 

32

 

 

462,707

 

 

50,889

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

Kansas

 

27

 

 

259,364

 

 

26,624

 

3

 

 

68,739

 

 

17,284

 

Kentucky

 

6

 

 

50,832

 

 

8,676

 

2

 

 

38,366

 

 

14,209

 

Louisiana

 

3

 

 

19,168

 

 

3,328

 

2

 

 

49,858

 

 

12,373

 

Massachusetts

 

20

 

 

185,084

 

 

32,601

 

39

 

 

1,124,085

 

 

253,943

 

Maryland

 

8

 

 

133,528

 

 

8,969

 

4

 

 

149,237

 

 

51,050

 

Maine

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

2

 

 

49,437

 

 

18,715

 

Michigan

 

6

 

 

96,814

 

 

10,165

 

5

 

 

108,521

 

 

24,860

 

Minnesota

 

10

 

 

222,546

 

 

18,809

 

4

 

 

111,503

 

 

21,595

 

Missouri

 

1

 

 

11,926

 

 

186

 

5

 

 

147,090

 

 

23,376

 

Mississippi

 

3

 

 

26,661

 

 

1,887

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

Montana

 

1

 

 

5,841

 

 

959

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

North Carolina

 

50

 

 

369,065

 

 

41,964

 

1

 

 

39,461

 

 

7,239

 

Nebraska

 

4

 

 

31,942

 

 

4,067

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

New Hampshire

 

4

 

 

51,186

 

 

7,599

 

4

 

 

117,062

 

 

29,986

 

New Jersey

 

56

 

 

1,229,004

 

 

132,850

 

8

 

 

233,766

 

 

65,306

 

New Mexico

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

1

 

 

18,199

 

 

1,375

 

Nevada

 

5

 

 

80,918

 

 

12,785

 

2

 

 

35,919

 

 

10,995

 

New York

 

6

 

 

147,412

 

 

15,993

 

10

 

 

334,217

 

 

87,283

 

Ohio

 

16

 

 

125,308

 

 

31,430

 

5

 

 

216,731

 

 

36,858

 

Oklahoma

 

21

 

 

225,662

 

 

20,181

 

2

 

 

39,679

 

 

3,374

 

Oregon

 

10

 

 

74,169

 

 

7,125

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

Pennsylvania

 

31

 

 

766,860

 

 

12,909

 

6

 

 

80,343

 

 

39,962

 

Rhode Island

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

3

 

 

59,215

 

 

20,345

 

South Carolina

 

5

 

 

31,653

 

 

5,698

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

Tennessee

 

4

 

 

39,654

 

 

3,839

 

2

 

 

48,830

 

 

15,741

 

Texas

 

37

 

 

387,507

 

 

48,760

 

30

 

 

928,494

 

 

205,362

 

Utah

 

2

 

 

30,108

 

 

2,582

 

1

 

 

16,315

 

 

10,546

 

Virginia

 

12

 

 

179,684

 

 

13,229

 

3

 

 

92,020

 

 

11,062

 

Vermont

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

1

 

 

26,501

 

 

6,710

 

Washington

 

18

 

 

318,379

 

 

33,773

 

12

 

 

403,565

 

 

78,355

 

Wisconsin

 

7

 

 

108,644

 

 

14,650

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

West Virginia

 

4

 

 

66,949

 

 

8,454

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

Total domestic

 

506

 

 

7,207,533

 

 

746,232

 

287

 

 

9,173,059

 

 

2,192,009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada

 

6

 

 

160,418

 

 

11,023

 

103

 

 

2,077,853

 

 

440,222

 

United Kingdom

 

61

 

 

1,220,528

 

 

107,728

 

53

 

 

1,542,910

 

 

312,009

 

Total international

 

67

 

 

1,380,946

 

 

118,751

 

156

 

 

3,620,763

 

 

752,231

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand total

 

573

 

$

8,588,479

 

$

864,983

 

443

 

$

12,793,822

 

$

2,944,240

23


 

 

 

 

Outpatient Medical

Property Location

 

Number of Properties

 

Total Investment

 

Annualized Revenues

 

Alaska

 

2

 

$

23,414

 

$

2,423

 

Alabama

 

3

 

 

30,119

 

 

5,515

 

Arkansas

 

1

 

 

22,730

 

 

2,067

 

Arizona

 

4

 

 

62,649

 

 

9,453

 

California

 

32

 

 

866,727

 

 

91,492

 

Colorado

 

2

 

 

32,967

 

 

5,025

 

Connecticut

 

1

 

 

41,686

 

 

3,939

 

Florida

 

36

 

 

436,149

 

 

50,703

 

Georgia

 

10

 

 

169,521

 

 

28,178

 

Iowa

 

1

 

 

6,615

 

 

1,303

 

Illinois

 

5

 

 

49,505

 

 

8,749

 

Indiana

 

9

 

 

162,463

 

 

20,157

 

Kansas

 

7

 

 

72,142

 

 

12,695

 

Kentucky

 

1

 

 

7,297

 

 

679

 

Maryland

 

5

 

 

93,869

 

 

11,817

 

Maine

 

1

 

 

19,290

 

 

2,824

 

Michigan

 

2

 

 

30,159

 

 

4,141

 

Minnesota

 

8

 

 

165,704

 

 

26,127

 

Missouri

 

8

 

 

144,391

 

 

17,451

 

North Carolina

 

3

 

 

53,499

 

 

7,086

 

Nebraska

 

2

 

 

33,727

 

 

5,379

 

New Hampshire

 

1

 

 

13,344

 

 

1,758

 

New Jersey

 

8

 

 

266,546

 

 

44,194

 

New Mexico

 

3

 

 

31,760

 

 

3,731

 

Nevada

 

5

 

 

43,466

 

 

4,200

 

New York

 

8

 

 

109,193

 

 

7,214

 

Ohio

 

5

 

 

51,894

 

 

9,845

 

Oklahoma

 

2

 

 

23,633

 

 

3,318

 

Oregon

 

1

 

 

9,279

 

 

1,453

 

South Carolina

 

1

 

 

24,844

 

 

2,615

 

Tennessee

 

6

 

 

64,569

 

 

7,831

 

Texas

 

55

 

 

892,224

 

 

89,447

 

Virginia

 

2

 

 

31,824

 

 

4,846

 

Washington

 

6

 

 

170,665

 

 

20,456

 

Wisconsin

 

20

 

 

244,483

 

 

32,779

 

Total domestic

 

266

 

 

4,502,347

 

 

550,890

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Kingdom

 

4

 

 

286,434

 

 

25,880

 

Grand total

 

270

 

$

4,788,781

 

$

576,770

 

The following table sets forth occupancy, coverages and average annualized revenues for certain property types (excluding investments in unconsolidated entities):

 

 

Occupancy(1)

 

Coverages(1,2)

 

Average Annualized Revenues(3)

 

 

 

 

2017

 

2016

 

2017

 

2016

 

2017

 

2016

 

 

Triple-net(4)

 

85.8%

 

86.5%

 

 1.34x  

 

 1.43x  

 

$

15,663

 

$

16,841

 

per bed/unit

Seniors housing operating(5)

 

86.5%

 

88.7%

 

n/a

 

n/a

 

 

60,828

 

 

59,627

 

per unit

Outpatient medical(6)

 

93.7%

 

94.7%

 

n/a

 

n/a

 

 

33

 

 

33

 

per sq. ft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) We use unaudited, periodic financial information provided solely by tenants/borrowers to calculate occupancy and coverages for properties other than outpatient medical buildings and have not independently verified the information.

(2) Represents the ratio of our triple-net customers' earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, rent and management fees to contractual rent or interest due us. Data reflects the twelve months ended September 30 for the periods presented.

(3) Represents annualized revenues divided by total beds, units or square feet as presented in the tables above.

(4) Occupancy represents average quarterly operating occupancy based on the quarters ended September 30 and excludes properties that are unstabilized, closed or for which data is not available or meaningful.

(5) Occupancy represents average occupancy for the three months ended December 31.

(6) Occupancy represents the percentage of total rentable square feet leased and occupied (including month-to-month and holdover leases and excluding terminations) as of December 31.

24


 

The following table sets forth information regarding lease expirations for certain portions of our portfolio as of December 31, 2017 (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

 

Expiration Year(1)

 

 

 

 

2018

 

 

2019

 

 

2020

 

 

2021

 

 

2022

 

 

2023

 

 

2024

 

 

2025

 

 

2026

 

 

2027

 

 

Thereafter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triple-net:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Properties

 

 

100

 

 

-

 

 

14

 

 

10

 

 

13

 

 

11

 

 

4

 

 

59

 

 

31

 

 

45

 

 

272

  

Base rent(2)

 

$

107,517

 

$

-

 

$

17,740

 

$

16,576

 

$

9,895

 

$

8,348

 

$

10,842

 

$

76,589

 

$

63,138

 

$

95,730

 

$

482,337

 

% of base rent

 

 

12.1%

 

 

0.0%

 

 

2.0%

 

 

1.9%

 

 

1.1%

 

 

0.9%

 

 

1.2%

 

 

8.6%

 

 

7.1%

 

 

10.8%

 

 

54.3%

 

Units

 

 

8,715

 

 

-

 

 

1,225

 

 

1,620

 

 

1,220

 

 

1,432

 

 

692

 

 

4,489

 

 

3,662

 

 

4,647

 

 

26,065

 

% of units

 

 

16.2%

 

 

0.0%

 

 

2.3%

 

 

3.0%

 

 

2.3%

 

 

2.7%

 

 

1.3%

 

 

8.3%

 

 

6.8%

 

 

8.6%

 

 

48.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outpatient medical:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Square feet

 

 

2,382,066

 

 

1,173,527

 

 

1,312,277

 

 

1,502,213

 

 

1,701,977

 

 

1,048,663

 

 

1,143,704

 

 

736,777

 

 

1,133,674

 

 

402,904

 

 

4,359,985

  

Base rent(2)

 

$

50,744

 

$

32,011

 

$

35,425

 

$

39,984

 

$

45,079

 

$

28,599

 

$

32,946

 

$

21,255

 

$

28,705

 

$

11,425

 

$

98,411

 

% of base rent

 

 

12.0%

 

 

7.5%

 

 

8.3%

 

 

9.4%

 

 

10.6%

 

 

6.7%

 

 

7.8%

 

 

5.0%

 

 

6.8%

 

 

2.7%

 

 

23.2%

 

Leases

 

 

317

 

 

310

 

 

311

 

 

268

 

 

302

 

 

203

 

 

122

 

 

108

 

 

126

 

 

78

 

 

162

 

% of leases

 

 

13.7%

 

 

13.4%

 

 

13.5%

 

 

11.6%

 

 

13.1%

 

 

8.8%

 

 

5.3%

 

 

4.7%

 

 

5.5%

 

 

3.4%

 

 

6.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Excludes investments in unconsolidated entities. Investments classified as held for sale are included in 2018.

(2) The most recent monthly base rent including straight-line for leases with fixed escalators or annual cash rents with contingent escalators.  Base rent does not include tenant recoveries or amortization of above and below market lease intangibles.

 

Item 3.  Legal Proceedings

 

     From time to time, there are various legal proceedings pending against us that arise in the ordinary course of our business.  Management does not believe that the resolution of any of these legal proceedings either individually or in the aggregate will have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.  Further, from time to time, we are party to certain legal proceedings for which third parties, such as tenants, operators and/or managers are contractually obligated to indemnify, defend and hold us harmless.  In some of these matters, the indemnitors have insurance for the potential damages.  In other matters, we are being defended by tenants and other obligated third parties and these indemnitors may not have sufficient insurance, assets, income or resources to satisfy their defense and indemnification obligations to us.  The unfavorable resolution of such legal proceedings could, individually or in the aggregate, materially adversely affect the indemnitors’ ability to satisfy their respective obligations to us, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.  It is management’s opinion that there are currently no such legal proceedings pending that will, individually or in the aggregate, have such a material adverse effect. Despite management’s view of the ultimate resolution of these legal proceedings, we may have significant legal expenses and costs associated with the defense of such matters.  Further, management cannot predict the outcome of these legal proceedings and if management’s expectation regarding such matters is not correct, such proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

 

Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures

 

None.

PART II

 

Item 5.  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

There were 4,761 stockholders of record as of January 31, 2018. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low prices of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:WELL), and common dividends paid per share:

  

 

 

  

Sales Price

 

Dividends Paid

 

 

  

High

 

Low

 

Per Share

2017

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

  

$

71.17

 

$

64.63

 

$

0.87

 

Second Quarter

  

 

78.17

 

 

68.66

 

 

0.87

 

Third Quarter

  

 

75.91

 

 

69.77

 

 

0.87

 

Fourth Quarter

  

 

70.87

 

 

63.06

 

 

0.87

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

  

$

70.45

 

$

52.80

 

$

0.86

 

Second Quarter

  

 

76.24

 

 

66.55

 

 

0.86

 

Third Quarter

  

 

80.19

 

 

72.34

 

 

0.86

 

Fourth Quarter

  

 

74.85

 

 

59.39

 

 

0.86

 

Our Board of Directors has approved a 2018 quarterly cash dividend rate of $0.87 per share of common stock per quarter, commencing with the February 2018 dividend. The declaration and payment of quarterly dividends remains subject to the review and approval of the Board of Directors.

25


 

 

Stockholder Return Performance Presentation

 

Set forth below is a line graph comparing the yearly percentage change and the cumulative total stockholder return on our shares of common stock against the cumulative total return of the S & P Composite-500 Stock Index and the FTSE NAREIT Equity Index. As of December 31, 2017, 157 companies comprised the FTSE NAREIT Equity Index, which consists of REITs identified by NAREIT as equity (those REITs which have at least 75% of their investments in real property). The data are based on the closing prices as of December 31 for each of the five years. 2012 equals $100 and dividends are assumed to be reinvested.

 

 

 

 

12/31/12

12/31/13

12/31/14

12/31/15

12/31/16

12/31/17

 

S & P 500

100.00

132.39

150.51

152.59

170.84

208.14

 

 Welltower Inc.

100.00

91.58

136.01

128.23

132.55

132.81

 

FTSE NAREIT Equity

100.00

102.47

133.35

137.61

149.33

157.14

 

 

Except to the extent that we specifically incorporate this information by reference, the foregoing Stockholder Return Performance Presentation shall not be deemed incorporated by reference by any general statement incorporating by reference this Annual Report on Form 10-K into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. This information shall not otherwise be deemed filed under such Acts.

  

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Period

 

Total Number of Shares Purchased(1)

 

Average Price Paid Per Share

 

Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs(2)

 

Maximum Number of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs

October 1, 2017 through October 31, 2017

 

-

 

$

-

 

 

 

 

November 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017

 

249

 

 

68.46

 

 

 

 

December 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017

 

32,072

 

 

67.94

 

 

 

 

Totals

 

32,321

 

$

67.94

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) During the three months ended December 31, 2017, the Company acquired shares of common stock held by employees who tendered owned shares to satisfy tax withholding obligations.

(2) No shares were purchased as part of publicly announced plans or programs.

26


 

Item 6.  Selected Financial Data

 

The following selected financial data for the five years ended December 31, 2017 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements (in thousands, except per share data):

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

2017

Operating Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

 

$

2,880,608

 

$

3,343,546

 

$

3,859,826

 

$

4,281,160

 

$

4,316,641

Expenses

 

 

2,778,363

 

 

2,959,333

 

 

3,223,709

 

 

3,571,907

 

 

4,017,025

Income from continuing operations before income taxes and income (loss) from unconsolidated entities

 

 

102,245

 

 

384,213

 

 

636,117

 

 

709,253

 

 

299,616

Income tax (expense) benefit

 

 

(7,491)

 

 

1,267

 

 

(6,451)

 

 

19,128

 

 

(20,128)

Income (loss) from unconsolidated entities

 

 

(8,187)

 

 

(27,426)

 

 

(21,504)

 

 

(10,357)

 

 

(83,125)

Income from continuing operations

 

 

86,567

 

 

358,054

 

 

608,162

 

 

718,024

 

 

196,363

Income from discontinued operations, net

 

 

51,713

 

 

7,135

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

Gain (loss) on real estate dispositions, net

 

 

-

 

 

147,111

 

 

280,387

 

 

364,046

 

 

344,250

Net income

 

 

138,280

 

 

512,300

 

 

888,549

 

 

1,082,070

 

 

540,613

Preferred stock dividends

 

 

66,336

 

 

65,408

 

 

65,406

 

 

65,406

 

 

49,410

Preferred stock redemption charge

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

9,769

Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

 

(6,770)

 

 

147

 

 

4,799

 

 

4,267

 

 

17,839

Net income attributable to common stockholders

 

$

78,714

 

$

446,745

 

$

818,344

 

$

1,012,397

 

$

463,595

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average number of common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

276,929

 

 

306,272

 

 

348,240

 

 

358,275

 

 

367,237

 

Diluted

 

 

278,761

 

 

307,747

 

 

349,424

 

 

360,227

 

 

369,001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per Share Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic: