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Genesis Healthcare's biggest landlord sells 92 nursing homes for $1.7B

Genesis Healthcare Inc., a Kennett Square company that is the nation's largest operator of nursing homes, said Wednesday it expects to save $10.5 million, or 5 percent, on its annual rent under two deals by its largest landlord to sell 92 of the more than 500 nursing homes Genesis operates for $1.7 billion.

Welltower Inc., based in Toledo, Ohio, will continue to be Genesis's largest landlord, with 114 nursing facilities. A previous owner of Genesis sold its real estate as way to generate stronger returns for investors, but Genesis has struggled under heavy rent payments and has been buying back some of the properties.

Genesis has an option to buy back $500 million in real estate from Welltower in the first half of next year, Welltower said. Jointly, the two companies plan to market 14 properties in states Genesis plans to leave. Those facilities are expected to generate proceeds of $120 million.

Shares in Genesis closed at $2.79, up 21 cents, or 8 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.