Merger and acquisition activity in long-term care continues to stay brisk, with several skilled-care deals inked this week.

Those include skilled nursing landlord Sabra Healthcare officially unloading 28 facilities on Monday for more than $282 million, and another landlord, CareTrust, picking up 12 of those properties in both Texas and Louisiana for $211 million.

Overall, it has been a hot start to the year in long-term care transactions, with 61 such deals to date, Bloomberg Law reported. February’s tally of 32 LTC deals was double the number executed in the next-closest sector: health information IT.

In February, CareTrust Chief Investment Officer Mark Lamb said the company is “seeing a lot of deals” in recent months, but stopped short of calling the uptick a pattern.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the deals announced this week:

  • Mission Viejo, CA, operator Ensign Group announced Tuesday that it is acquiring a 52-unit memory care facility in Lewisville, TX, and a 130-bed SNF in Phoenix. Prices were not disclosed.
  • Irvine, CA-based Sabra announced late Monday that it had finalized the sale of 28 facilities previously operated by Senior Care Centers for $282.5 million. Texas’ once-largest operator filed for bankruptcy in December, hampered by escalating rent costs and inadequate reimbursement, which forced Sabra’s hand in the sale.  
  • San Clemente, CA-based CareTrust said Tuesday that it had completed the previously disclosed acquisition of 12 skilled nursing and continuing care retirement communities in Texas and Louisiana for $211 million. According to officials, an affiliate of BM Eagle Holdings LLC purchased the 12 former Senior Care Centers properties from Sabra and simultaneously sold them to CareTrust.

Priority Management Group is taking over operation of the eight Louisiana facilities from Senior Care Centers this week, while Southwest LTC will assume operations in Texas. New contracts do not include rent escalators, which had weighed down the former tenant.

“These were some of the best assets in the portfolio, and we think our operators are going to do really well there,” CareTrust Chairman and CEO Greg Stapley told McKnight’s. “These were not the assets that put those guys into bankruptcy.”