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SPH to buy 5 aged care assets in Japan for 5.26b yen

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With a total capacity of 365 beds, the five properties offer seniors independent living services including community-based activities, transport, laundry, meals and care services.

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) will acquire five aged care assets in Japan for a total of 5.26 billion yen (S$65.8 million).

Two of its special purpose vehicles have entered into sale and purchase agreements for the acquisition, said the media and property group, which publishes The Business Times, in a bourse filing shortly after midnight on Monday.

The deal is part of SPH’s strategy of investing in aged care and healthcare assets, and expanding its business footprint in markets with fast-ageing populations.

Three of the properties are in Hokkaido, one is in Nara in the Osaka Metropolitan Region, while the fifth is in Tokyo.

With a total capacity of 365 beds, the properties offer seniors independent living services including community-based activities, transport, laundry, meals and care services.

SPH said it will disclose further details of the acquisition upon completion of the deal.

Ng Yat Chung, chief executive officer (CEO) of SPH, said: “We continue to seek opportunities to expand our aged care business overseas.”

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy of growing our recurring income base through the acquisition of cash yielding assets in defensive sectors.”

The acquisition is part of SPH’s partnership with Japanese real estate asset manager Bridge C Capital in October 2019 to set up a fund focused on investing in aged care and healthcare assets such as senior housing, nursing homes and medical office buildings in Japan.

Asset management fees will be generated as part of the fund, eventually adding to the recurring income stream from the assets, SPH said.

The five properties in Japan will continue to be managed by their current operators on long-term master leases averaging 23.4 years.

Anthony Tan, deputy CEO of SPH, said the move builds on the group’s acquisition of Singapore nursing home operator Orange Valley in 2017.

The aged care industry is set for continued growth in countries with fast-ageing populations like Singapore and Japan, Mr Tan said.

The purchase price of 5.26 billion yen will be paid fully in cash and funded through internal and external resources.

The deal is expected to complete by March 2020.

SPH shares closed flat at S$2.01 on Friday.