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Meditrust Cos., headquartered in Needham, MA, has completed asset sales and mortgage repayments of $138 million since the end of the second quarter, taking its year-to-date total to $459 million in an ongoing strategy to beef up its Dallas-based La Quinta lodging subsidiary.

The sale of a medical office building has added $32 million to Meditrust’s coffer plus another $7 million has been gleaned from the sale of a long-term care facility. The proceeds complement an early repayment of six mortgages held against five assisted living operations and two long-term facilities. That transaction has resulted in $99 million in proceeds. The locations of the sold facilities are not available.

The revenue is being used to pay down $625 million in debt while freeing up $390 million, funds available as of Wednesday, according to the company. A portion of the money is being used for Meditrust’s realigned focus from health-care to La Quinta Inns subsidiary, according to Meditrust’s realignment plan released in January. As of Dec. 31, 1999, the health-care portfolio was carrying a book value of about $2.2 billion.Meditrust has blamed, in part, the bailout decision on the federal government’s shift to a Medicare prospective payment system for the skilled nursing industry. Increased labor costs, longer stays at assisted living facilities, more regulations and more costly capital markets also have contributed to the company’s decision that spells good news for La Quinta, which operates 70 inns in 28 states. Meditrust is comprised of Meditrust Corp., a Dallas-based REIT and Meditrust Operating Co.

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