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Philanthropist Kiran Patel takes new approach in funding Clearwater medical school

Margie Manning



A rendering of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine on the Nova Southeastern University campus in Clearwater (Credit: NSU)

Dr. Kiran Patel has formed an investment group and is seeking to raise $38 million to help fund construction of the Nova Southeastern University Tampa Bay regional campus in Clearwater.

Patel has raised $10 million so far, according to a filing on Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“This is to create a vehicle for bridge financing,” Patel told the St. Pete Catalyst, in response to an email asking about the newly formed Clearwater Osteopathic Medical College Investors LP.

Bridge financing is an interim financing option used by companies to solidify their short-term position until a long-term financing option can be arranged.

Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel (Credit: NSU)

Through their family foundation, Patel, a healthcare entrepreneur and philanthropist, and his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel, last year committed $200 million to NSU’s 325,000-square-foot medical education complex at 3400 Gulf to Bay Blvd., the site of the former Clearwater Christian College.

The complex will house the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, as well as the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing, Fischler College of Education and the College of Psychology.

A rendering of NSU’s planned Tampa Bay regional campus

Patel gave NSU $50 million and committed to a $150 million real estate facility investment on the property, which he bought in 2016.

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners approved up to $100 million in bond funding for the project earlier this month. Citigroup will be the underwriter on the bonds, which will be sold to institutional investors.

But the process is only halfway completed, said Mike Meidel, director of Pinellas County Economic Development.

The next step is to have the bond agreements approved by the board. It will be January before the board gets the final documents and approves them, and it probably  will be mid-February to early March before they get bond funding, Meidel said.

“The bridge funding is probably to hold them over until they receive the [bond] funding, since construction is underway and they have to pay the bills,” Meidel said.

The $38 million investment fund Patel is organizing has 20 investors to date, according to the SEC filing. Each has invested $500,000 as a capital contribution, the filing said. Just one of the investors lives in the United States, it said. None of the investors are identified.

The issuer will receive a $55,000 administration fee per subscription, to offset organizational expenses, according to the filing. That money is not part of the offering proceeds. Kiran Patel is the founder of the investment fund and manager of the general partner, Clearwater Beach Resort Regional Center LLC.

Patel was the founder of what became WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE: WCG), selling that Tampa-based managed healthcare insurance firm in 2002 for a reported $200 million. He later founded two Medicare Advantage insurers that he sold to Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) earlier this year for $1.7 billion, according to public filings.

Over the years, he’s built a real estate empire, with hotels, medical offices, surgical centers and office buildings throughout the United States. He’s financially backed startups and entrepreneurs and is the co-founder of TiE Tampa Bay.

Kiran and Pallavi Patel have donated millions to both NSU and University of South Florida, Florida Hospital and other health care facilities, both locally and overseas, and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

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