Singapore Press Holdings has made its second overseas investment in senior living facilities this week as the media and property conglomerate announced today that it has agreed to pay C$232.9 million ($176.6 million) to acquire a set of Canadian properties.
SPH is purchasing the six assets – five in Ontario and another in Saskatchewan – from Seattle investment manager Columbia Pacific Advisors as the SGX-listed group bets on the housing needs of an aging Canadian society, according to an announcement today to the Singapore exchange.
The Singapore firm, which operates the Orange Valley aged care facility in Singapore and has also acquired overseas portfolios of student housing, had announced on Monday an agreement to spend a total of JPY 5.3 billion to acquire five Japanese senior care homes.
Adding 717 Rooms to Senior Portfolio
“These acquisitions are part of our strategy to expand our Aged Care business,” SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung said in a statement. “We continue to seek cash-yielding assets in defensive sectors to build up our recurring income base.”
Ng’s fresh set of freehold assets include a total of 717 suites which have exceeded 90 percent occupancy over the past three years, according to the statement. Columbia Pacific had acquired the properties, which have an average age of seven years, as part of a $2 billion 2017 acquisition of Hawthorn Retirement Group.
Five of the properties are located in the Ontario cities of Cambridge, Kanata, Guelph, Coburg and Woodstock, with another situated in the Saskatchewan provincial capital of Regina.
SPH, which is funding the acquisition through a combination of internal funds and debt, says that it expects to complete the transaction in May of this year.
In the Japanese acquisition announced on Monday, SPH had added a total of 365 beds across three properties in Hokkaido, in addition to one facility each in Tokyo and Nara.
Betting on Aging
The management of SPH portrayed the Canadian acquisition as an opportunity to expand its holdings in an attractive market segment, while also enhancing its operational capabilities in the senior care industry.
“Population ageing is set to be one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century,” SPH’s deputy chief executive, Anthony Tan said. “In developed economies like Canada, Japan and Singapore, the growth prospects for services targeted at older persons like independent living facilities and healthcare are good.”
Tan added that the company will continue to look for new opportunities in the senior living sector in similar markets, with SPH declaring its intent “to build its aged care asset portfolio into a sizeable platform.”
As part of the deal, SPH is also acquiring Regina Assisted Group Ltd, a licensed provider of assisted living services, which currently operates the Saskatchewan property.
Senior Living Deals Follow Student Housing Streak
SPH also indicated that this latest deal is part of the group’s extension of its asset management business, as well as being in tune with the geographic expansion of its portfolio.
The company’s foray into senior living comes after its decision in December to spend £448 million (then $583 million) to add seven UK properties to its growing set of student accommodation facilities.
That university living portfolio has now grown to more than $1.1 billion in value, according to SPH, totalling some 7,726 beds across 18 cities in the UK and Germany.
In a statement to the Singapore exchange earlier this month, SPH indicated that it is considering the possibility of listing its student accommodation assets on a stock exchange, although it did not reveal any defined plans for a public debut.