Texas nursing home chain Orianna files for bankruptcy

WILMINGTON, Del., March 7 (Reuters) - The owner of Texas-based Orianna Health Systems filed for bankruptcy late Tuesday after reaching a restructuring deal with its landlord, the second large nursing home operator to seek Chapter 11 protection this week due to unpaid rent.

4 West Holdings Inc, which operates as Orianna, reached a deal with its landlord Omega Healthcare Investors Inc and agreed to transfer 23 facilities to a new operator and provide for the sale of 19 others, according to court records.

Orianna owes $52 million in rent to Omega, a real estate investment trust or REIT, and $67 million to vendors as well as other debts, according to court records. Orianna is Omega's largest tenant, according to securities filings.

Shares of Omega were up 0.4 percent at $27.26 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Large U.S. nursing home chains have struggled to keep up with rent payments due to changing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates, rising costs and low occupancy rates.

The Orianna deal follows Monday's bankruptcy filing by HCR ManorCare Inc, the second-largest U.S. nursing home operator, which transferred ownership to its landlord, Quality Care Properties Inc. ManorCare owed $446 million in rent under a master lease that covered 289 facilities.

The largest U.S. nursing home operator, Genesis Healthcare Inc, avoided a bankruptcy filing last month after it reached a restructuring deal with its lender and REIT landlords.

Orianna operates skilled nursing facilities in seven states, with around 4,500 beds and 5,000 employees. (Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware Editing by James Dalgleish)