AU spends $65m on retirement homes, land

The Kogarah facility includes 103 apartments.

Australian Unity is paying $65 million for Greengate’s aged care and retirement living portfolio.

The deal includes three modern, operational vertical villages – in Sydney, at Kogarah (pictured top and right) and Maroubra, and in Brisbane’s Wolloongabba.

Sorrento on the Bay is one of the first aged care proposals since the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

It also contains a block of land, at Auchenflower – just west of the Queensland capital – which is permitted to make way for a fourth home.

Earlier this week we reported plans for an uber-luxury aged care community on Sorrento’s front beach, proposed by John Matthies’ Australian Aged Care Group Pty Ltd.

The Greengate portfolio

The three operational sites contain 253 independent living units (ILU) and 225 residential aged care (RCA) beds.

AU already owned and operated 21 retirement villages and seven residential aged care homes; in NSW and Vic, these contain 2496 ILUs and 786 RAC beds.

The buyer’s executive general manager, Residential Communities, Beverly Smith, said the deal with Greengate Partnership Pty Ltd, is consistent with the company’s growth strategy.

“The proposed purchase reflects our confidence in aged care as a sector where we can add real value for our members, customers and the broader Australian community – and further underlines the important role mutual organisations can take in delivering high-quality, member-focused aged care and retirement living,” the executive added.

“On top of increasing demand for quality care from ageing population, the recent [Royal Commission into Aged Care] will result in greater support for more ageing-in place options (story continues below).

“This presents opportunities for providers such as AU, which can demonstrate strength across the continuum of care, in both in-home and residential settings.

“As with most of the existing AU portfolio, the Greengate precincts offers continuum of care options.

“Greengate’s aged care residences also operate on the small household model endorsed by the Royal Commission, which makes them compatible with the Australian Unity Better Together model of care.

Queensland expansion

The deal accelerates AU’s Queensland presence, the buyer said.

“Australian Unity is the master developer of one of Australia’s largest social infrastructure programs – the Herston Quarter healthcare precinct in Brisbane,” Ms Smith said, adding it “is pleased to be able to broaden its operations in Queensland”.

Settlement is subject to relevant third party contractual consents – which are being obtained.

It will primarily be funded with cash reserves – including a December, 2020, issue of $120m in the Australian Unity Mutual Capital Instruments (MIC).

“These proceeds…were intended to be used to support growth opportunities such as this acquisition in the area of important social infrastructure”.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of