In 2018, Holy Family Hospital’s Haverhill campus was sold to a real estate investment trust for about $124 million—a price tag well above the $14.8 million the city says it is worth. The financial freefall has been well-documented over the years even as it now appears to surprise state regulators. Birmingham, Alabama-based Medical Properties Trust bought the property along with other Steward Health Care-owned hospitals and related properties as part of a sell and leaseback deal that allowed, according to an announcement at the time, the then-Boston-based Steward to “to expand nationally.”
The exaggerated price tag struck many as odd, considering the City of Haverhill opened the campus in 1984 after building it for $30 million and then sold it to Essent Healthcare for $1.8 million in 2001. Essent, in turn, sold it to Steward for $8.4 million in 2011. A year earlier, Caritas Christi Health Care, owner of Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, said it agreed to be acquired by Steward Healthcare System, then described as “a newly formed affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management,” for $895 million.