Australian Unity demonstrates confidence in sector with $65m acquisition

Mutual fund Australian Unity is increasing its stake in seniors’ living assets with the purchase of the Greengate aged care and retirement living portfolio.

The $65 million transaction, announced this week, includes three operational vertical retirement and aged care homes in Sydney and Brisbane. An inner-Brisbane development site is also in the portfolio.

Australian Unity Executive General Manager Residential Communities, Beverly Smith, said the mutual organisations could deliver high quality, member-focused aged care and retirement living.

“The proposed purchase reflects our confidence in aged care as a sector where we can add real value for our members, customers, and the broader Australian community,” she said.

The assets will increase Australian Unity’s independent living units an additional 253, with another 225 residential aged care beds.

Around Australia, their portfolio includes 21 retirement villages and seven residential aged care homes.

Ms Smith said the new sites would enable further continuum-of-care options for residents.

“On top of increasing demand for quality care from an ageing population, the recent Aged Care Royal Commission will result in greater support for ageing-in-place options,” she said.

“This presents opportunities for providers such as Australian Unity, which can demonstrate strength across the continuum of care, in both in-home and residential settings.”

Australian Unity has recently completed the transformation of Albert Park Melbourne retirement village and aged care, The Grace, from an office high-rise.

It recently announced funding of $125m from Ord Minnett to create a separate 15-story seniors’ community. Construction is due to begin later this month, ahead of expected completion in late 2022.

The purchases also accelerate Australian Unity’s expansion plans in Queensland. It is already well-underway with its construction of the $1.3 billion master-planned Herston Quarter precinct.

This redevelopment of the former Queensland Children’s Hospital and surrounding buildings will deliver a new $275m Queensland Health Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre (SRACC), as well as a private hospital, aged care and retirement living, and apartments.

The Greengate purchase also includes a development site in Auchenflower, in Brisbane’s inner west, that has development approval for a vertical retirement village and aged care.

The announcement said Australian Unity would operate the sites under its Better Together, small-group model of care.

This involves creating living units with staff continuity, and more choices over their lifestyle.

“Greengate’s aged care residences also operate on the small household model endorsed by the Royal Commission, which makes them compatible with Australian Unity’s Better Together model of care,” Ms Smith said.

“We look forward to meeting the Greengate customers and their families, as well as Greengate’s team members, and welcoming them.”


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