SINGAPORE (Feb 26): Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is set to acquire six aged care assets in Canada for a total of C$232.9 million ($244.5 million) through its wholly-owned subsidiary Times Properties.
The move is in line with its strategy of investing in ageing and healthcare assets to expand its business footprint in markets with a fast-ageing population, the media and property group announced on Wednesday.
Five of the elder care homes are in Ontario, while the sixth in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Between them, there are 717 suites with an average age of around seven years.
The group expects the assets to have positive occupancy, given their occupancy rates have consistently been in excess of 90% in the past three years.
Demand for independent and assisted living services slated to grow, as the number of Canadians aged 75 and above is estimated to grow by over 52.6% in the next decade, according to data published by the US Census Bureau in 2018.
With the top five national operators servicing less than 20% of the total supply of senior housing and care facilities at present, SPH believes its six properties have a gap to fill.
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Earlier this week, the group announced its acquisition of five aged care assets in Japan for 5.26 billion yen ($65.8 million).
Of this, three are in Hokkaido, one is in the Osaka Metropolitan Region of Nara, while the last is in Tokyo. Together, they have a capacity of 365 beds and will offer seniors independent living services such as community-based activities, transport, laundry, meals and other care services.
Says Anthony Tan, the group’s Deputy CEO “in developed economies like Canada, Japan and Singapore, the growth prospects for services targeted at older persons like independent living facilities and healthcare are good”.
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As such, both he and the group’s CEO Ng Yat Chung are on the lookout for more opportunities in this sector, with Ng saying “we [will] continue to seek cash-yielding assets in defensive sectors to build up our recurring income base”.
As at 11.43 am, shares at SPH were down 0.51% at $1.96.