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Australian Unity completes capital raising for new Retirement Village Development Fund

Media
09 Jun 2015
Australian Unity has completed a capital raising for its new Retirement Village Development Fund (Fund), with construction of a new $65 million retirement village which commenced in late May 2015.

Australian Unity worked with Hume Partners to create a tailored investment vehicle to finance the development.

The Fund is the first of its kind in Australia, and will finance the development of a nine level vertical retirement building which will form part of Australian Unity’s Rathdowne Place Wellbeing Precinct – the recently established retirement and aged care precinct in the inner Melbourne suburb of Carlton.

The development will create 91 independent living apartments at the precinct, along with associated resident amenity. Sitting across the park from the new five level aged care and wellbeing centre already on site, the apartments will provide opportunities for older Australians wishing to live close to the city of Melbourne.

Construction commenced in May 2015 and is expected to be completed in early 2017.

Mark Pratt, General Manager - Australian Unity Real Estate Investment, said the organisation creates investment opportunities in retirement village and aged care assets that are designed to meet the future needs of ageing Australia.

“Australian Unity provides sought-after retirement accommodation and has an attractive pipeline of opportunities. This financing partnership will help provide the business with further scale.”

“This development, and others like it, will allow us to play a greater role in meeting the housing and infrastructure needs of aging Australia in a way that also supports the interests of investors.”

Just over $12 million of third party capital was raised through Hume Partners, who recognised the potential of an investment in retirement and aged care property.

“This innovative financing arrangement provides a bespoke structure for investors to gain exposure to a rapidly growing sector with an established and experienced counterparty in Australian Unity.”

“We are actively seeking other opportunities where the structure can be repeated to support quality developments and projects.”

Ross Burney, CEO of Hume Partners, noted “On behalf of our client Taverners Group, and in association with Baron Corporation, we are delighted to have partnered with Australian Unity given their strong brand, reputation in the retirement living and aged care sectors and track record in development. This investment adds to our growing portfolio of property assets in the healthcare sector which we see as offering attractive returns underpinned by excellent fundamentals.”

Derek McMillan, Chief Executive Officer - Australian Unity Retirement Living, said the Fund enabled it to raise the capital required to further build out its aged care and retirement village infrastructure.

“This development is the first of two planned vertical retirement villages at Rathdowne Place, with the second to be developed when this stage is completed. Our strategy is to create an unmatched aged care, retirement village and wellbeing precinct that will challenge the traditional ideas of what retirement living in Australia should be.”

“The development will offer an inner city lifestyle with architecturally designed apartments, quality care and premium facilities, and we are already seeing a high level of interest, with a number of people already applying for the priority register ,” he said.

Australian Unity Real Estate Investment (AUREI) is the property funds management business of Australian Unity Investments, part of the Australian Unity group, a national healthcare, financial services and retirement living organisation that has been operating for more than 170 years.

AUREI was established in 1998 and, through its unlisted property funds, owns and manages more than 50 properties in the healthcare, retail and commercial sectors across Australia. It has more than $1.98 billion in funds under management (as at 30 April 2015). Its flagship fund, the Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust, owns 25 hospitals, medical centres, and aged care facilities across Australia, and has more than $700 million in funds under management as at 30 April 2015.

Australian Unity Retirement Living is a leading developer and operator of retirement communities and home care services to over 5,000 older Australians.

Hume Partners is a bespoke investment house specializing in sourcing and managing investments mostly for family offices and charitable foundations.

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