Australian Unity Funds Management, the responsible entity of unlisted Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust (AUHPT), announced this week that NorthWest Healthcare Properties, a REIT listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, had offered to buy AUHPT for approximately A$2.20 per unit.
The offer values the trust at approximately A$2.5bn ($2bn).
AUHPT is one of Australia’s largest owners of healthcare property. Its portfolio currently holds 62 assets, including private hospitals, clinics, medical office buildings and nursing homes.
According to the announcement the proposal was indicative, non-binding and subject to a number of conditions and a range of approvals, including completion of satisfactory due diligence and entry into a mutually agreed scheme implementation agreement.
The board of AUFM stated that it would assess the proposal and determine whether it was in the interests of AUHPT unitholders to engage with NorthWest, while telling unitholders that they did not need to take any action at this time.
In Canada, NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT is the largest non-government owner and manager of medical office buildings and healthcare facilities and is already a major player in the Australian heathcare property market. The trust also holds assets in Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, as well as 26 properties in Australia.
In 2019 the NorthWest successfully closed a A$1.2bn acquisition of Healthscope’s 11 freehold hospital properties from Brookfield Asset Management. Later in the same year, the company created a JV with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, GIC. From an initial A$2bn, the JV was rapidly upsized to approximately A$3.7 with an additional injection of equity and debt.