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SPH anchors Japan aged care fund with up to S$50m

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) has partnered real estate asset manager Bridge C Capital to set up a fund focused on investing in aged care and healthcare assets in Japan.

SPH, which publishes The Business Times, will invest seed equity of up to S$50 million in the fund, which will acquire assets like senior housing, nursing homes and medical office buildings in Japan.

Bridge C will be the fund's asset manager, focusing on marketing, deal sourcing and management expertise. SPH and Bridge C will be jointly responsible for raising additional funds, as well as sourcing for suitable assets to acquire.

Anthony Tan, deputy chief executive of SPH, said: "The move builds on the expertise SPH has acquired through operating Orange Valley, Singapore's largest nursing home operator over the past two years. Expanding overseas in markets with fast-ageing populations like Japan gives us a chance to expand our recurring income base, as well as build up our asset management capabilities in a growth segment. We will also be able to learn from leading aged-care operators overseas to improve Orange Valley's care and operational standards."

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Japan is projected to see its elderly population (aged 65 years and above) increase from 28 per cent in 2017 – highest in the world – to 30 per cent by 2025, SPH said.

Bridge C is a growing real estate asset manager in Japan which invests in a variety of asset classes including healthcare, hospitality, residence, office and nursery schools. It also owns and operates the No 1 real estate crowdfunding platform in Japan, SPH said.

Daizo Yokota, chief executive of Bridge C Capital, said: "Our corporate mission is to invest where we can also do social good. Japan's population is rapidly ageing and the numbers are projected to grow even further. This partnership will enable us to create better elderly-friendly infrastructure."

Aki Tokuyama, Singapore-based chairman of Bridge C Capital, said: "It is a great pleasure to partner a reputable company in Singapore. We hope that this collaboration will showcase the good partnership between Singapore and Japan."

SPH shares closed five Singapore cents or 2.38 per cent higher at S$2.15 on Tuesday.