Acquisition & growth

One of Australia’s biggest aged care operators, the Japara Group, has recently acquired a BlueCross aged care facility. The move forms part of its long-term plan to grow the business by up to 2,000 beds in the next three to five years.

By Yasmin Noone

One of Australia’s largest aged care operators, the Japara Group, has just settled a deal to secure a 60-bed aged care facility from the community and residential care provider, BlueCross.

The acquired BlueCross business, Anglesea Aged Care Facility situated on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, has been transferred to Japara’s operating entity the Aged Care Services Australia Group (ACSAG).

The freehold of the facility has also been acquired by the Japara Aged Care Trust.

The mass operator stated it intends to retain all existing staff at the facility “to ensure the continued provision of high standards of care”.

Japara CEO, Andrew Sudholz, confirmed that Japara staff recently met with facility residents, their families and staff to inform them of ACSAG’s plan to operate the “business as usual”.

“The Anglesea Aged Care Facility is an impressive, well-run business, is relatively new and it fits well into our investment strategy by adding to our regional hub of aged care facilities in the Geelong and Bellarine district,” Mr Sudholz said.

“Residents and staff at Anglesea can look forward to being part of an experienced group with a solid reputation for providing the highest quality standard of care to its residents and great support to its staff.

“We are excited about the future of aged care and are ready to respond to the changing needs of our residents through innovation and improvement of the services we provide and the facilities that we build.

“We also recognise the importance of connecting closely with regional communities.”

Japara’s aged care portfolio is a mix of city and country locations, with around 25 per cent situated in regional areas.

“We have a strong track record of supporting the local community, and value the benefits that being involved in the community brings to the lives of the residents and staff.”

Japara, once described by a Fairfax publication as a “nursing home empire”, is one of the leading wholesale Property Trusts in Australia specialising in the ownership of aged care assets.

Recent media reports state Japara aims to raise capital worth $100 million in new investment next month.

A company spokesperson says Japara is now in good financial shape. Having recently financially restructured, he said, it is now “moving ahead aggressively”.

Japara is currently engaged in a major growth phase with aspirations to increase its national portfolio from the current 3,000 beds to approximately 5,000 beds within the next three-to-five years.

The company currently operates 34 aged care facilities across the country with their facilities in NSW, SA, TAS and major holdings throughout Victoria.

Mr Sudholz said Japara hopes to soon announce further acquisitions and the company’s brownfields program is well into its construction phase.

“Currently we have six brownfield construction projects underway, with a total project cost of around $65 million, that will provide an extra 350-beds to the company’s portfolio and provide much needed and high quality services to the elderly community.”

Despite the company’s overwhelming focus on business viability and profit, a spokesperson confirmed its ongoing commitment to providing quality accommodation and care services to its residents.

“We wouldn’t be moving ahead in this sector if weren’t offering quality services,” the spokesperson said.

“You can have all the greatest systems in world, economies of scale and all the other corporate considerations. But that’s worth nothing if you don’t provide quality services to every single resident and their family.”

At the end of the day, he said, “if we don’t provide excellent quality, we don’t deserve to do well in the sector. And we understand that.

“But there’s also so much competition in the sector that you can’t succeed unless you are doing something well.”

Japara said it is well placed to” play a significant role in providing for the next phase of growth in the aged care sector to ensure the needs of Australia’s growing elderly population are met”.

Tags: acsag, anglesea, aquisistion, bluecross, capital-raising, fairfax, finance, holdings, japara,

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