Right of reply: Steward Health Care International ownership report

Steward Health Care International right of reply to MaltaToday story ‘Opaque Steward ownership distances Americans from Malta fall-out’

With reference to the article published on the front page, and pages 8 and 9 of MaltaToday on Sunday 12 February 2023 and on MaltaToday.com.mt on 13 February 2023 titled ‘Opaque Steward ownership distances Americans from Malta fall-out’, Steward Health Care International (SHCI) and Steward Health Care Malta (SHCM) want to clarify the merits of the facts and arguments made in the article in question, through this reply.

MaltaToday, working in collusion with a short seller, has maliciously and deliberately reported false information about the company as port of a long-term and continuous smear campaign.

Steward Health Care International will defend its actions, standing up for patient safety and protecting the public’s confidence in Malta’s health care system.

Steward Health Care International (SHCI), alongside its subsidiary Steward Health Care Malta (SHCM), has today written to the Government of Malta seeking an investigation into Matthew Vella, Malta Today and their investigative partner, short-seller Viceroy Research LLC, for persistent and malicious inaccurate reporting about the company.

SHCI believes that the criminal intent of this smear campaign on SHCI is to manipulate and drive down the stock price of Medical Properties Trust (MPT) Inc, a NYSE-listed real estate investment trust, in a coordinated campaign akin to securities fraud.

SHCI will be taking appropriate legal action to support its position.

SHCI forcefully disputes the latest inaccurate article by MaltaToday published on 12 February 2023. SHCI believes that the news outlet knowingly published a series of false and misleading claims about the company’s structure and mischaracterised corporate links between SHCI and MPT.

The veracity of these claims was easily verifiable. Indeed, when approached, SHCI plainly and forcefully denied the portrayal of the links between the companies. The depiction of the ties to MPT in the article is completely inaccurate — a fact already pointed out to the same journalist and publication over a year ago.

The author nevertheless made no attempt to justify his position and instead persisted in the publication of these false claims, choosing instead to rely on biased, unfounded and untrue information previously published by Viceroy in a report to which the author had previously contributed. The claims in the article are plainly and malevolently intended to secure some benefit far the author, the outlet and Viceroy, as well as damage SHCI’s standing in Malta and abroad.

The article also positions Steward Health Care Malta (SHCMI’s operations in Malta — operations with a modest revenue that over its lifetime to date has produced cumulative losses of many millions of Euros and that are run to a tight and heavily scrutinised budget — as the hub for an international money laundering conspiracy. This is plainly ridiculous and is insulting to the professionals in Malta that manage the operation to a very high standard.

Such false allegations undermine the public’s confidence in Malta’s health care system and intentionally interfere with the company’s ability — both in Malta and internationally — to improve patient access to quality healthcare across the communities we serve.

SHCI reserves its rights to pursue all legal options available to it in response to such allegations.

Nuria Ros Domingo
Secretary of the Board of Directors Steward Health Care International S.L.U.