Australian Unity Healthcare Trust has acquired three aged care properties in Queensland worth A$93.6m (€60m) in a sale and leaseback deal.

Chris Smith, Australian Unity’s healthcare general manager, told IPE Real Assets this was the first time that the operator, McKenzie Aged Care, would lease properties from an external landlord.

McKenzie has agreed to a 25-year lease, including the right to extend by two additional 10-year periods.

Smith said the purchase would bring the number of aged care properties in Australian Unity’s portfolio to 10. The deal increased assets under management of Australian Unity trust to around A$3bn.

“We have a few assets currently in due diligence and in development,” he said.

“Our immediate pipeline is worth A$500m, and we have a secondary pipeline of potential acquisitions and developments which, if they come to fruition, would be worth around A$1bn.”

Smith said the trust was expected to grow to A$4bn in the next couple of years due to increased interest from institutional investors in the sector.

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