A group of physicians has acquired a controlling stake in Steward Health Care, a Dallas-based health system operating hospitals in nine states.

Steward Health Care said Tuesday that it structured a recapitalization transaction in which private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management transferred its controlling stake to a management group of Steward physicians led by the Steward CEO Dr. Ralph de la Torre.

The physicians will control 90% of the company, while Medical Properties Trust will maintain its 10% stake. The deal gives Steward Health Care the financial strength to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

“The COVID-19 global pandemic has exposed serious deficiencies in the world’s healthcare systems, with a disproportionate impact on underserved communities and populations. We believe that future healthcare management must completely integrate long-term clinical needs with investments. As physicians first, we will focus on creating structures and timelines that meet the long-term needs of our communities and the short-term needs of our patients,” de la Torre said in a news release.

Cerberus, which has about $42 billion in assets under management, has owned Steward Health Care since 2010. In March, Steward announced it would close a 200-bed hospital in Pennsylvania amid the pandemic. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf agreed to provide $8 million in emergency funding to the hospital in exchange for Steward keeping the hospital open until the end of April.

Steward Health Care operates 35 hospitals and employs more than 40,000 healthcare professionals. The health system’s employed medical groups sees six million patients each year.


Source: Physicians acquire Steward Health Care from private equity firm