Vital Healthcare Property Trust said on 24 December it had conditionally acquired the freehold real estate at Boulcott Private Hospital in Lower Hutt from Evolution Healthcare (NZ) Pty Ltd, with a 22-year lease to ASX-listed Pulse Health Group in place.
In September, the Commerce Commission had rejected Evolution’s bid to acquire all the shares in Austron Ltd unless it sold Boulcott, one of a series of commission decisions preventing 3 of the 4 private hospitals in the Wellington region – Boulcott, Bowen & Wakefield – coming under common ownership, leaving only Southern Cross Hospital independent of Evolution & Connor Healthcare Ltd.
Austron, owned by the Royston Health Trust Board & Medusa Ltd, is the majority owner of Connor Ltd, which in turn owned the Bowen & Wakefield private hospitals. Evolution (NZ), part of the Sydney-based Evolution Healthcare Group, held a minority stake in Connor.
Vital will acquire Boulcott for $30.7 million at an initial yield of 6.85%, and separately acquire an adjacent residential property for $1 million for future development. Settlement is expected following receipt of regulatory approvals, which Vital anticipates will be in mid-2016.
Boulcott is a 38-bed private surgical hospital with 3 operating theatres, 29 inpatient beds, a 9-bed day surgery suite and an endoscopy unit. About 45 specialist consultants & surgeons provide services across a range of surgical specialties, including orthopaedics, ophthalmology & urology services. Boulcott is directly adjacent to Hutt Hospital, and will become Vital’s first New Zealand asset co-located with a public hospital.
Vital Healthcare Management Ltd chief executive David Carr said: “Boulcott directly aligns with our stated scale & diversification strategy and complements the growth we have experienced in Australia. We have prudently sought to acquire high quality healthcare assets in New Zealand in recent years and Boulcott delivers on that.”
22 September 2015: Evolution gets conditional clearance to buy Austron
1 April 2015: Connor appeals initial rejection of Acurity bid
23 December 2014: Acurity bid unconditional
22 December 2014: Undertaking changes commission’s mind on Acurity takeover
12 December 2014: Commission rejects full Acurity takeover
Attribution: Company release.