Australian Unity has acquired a A$220m (€142m) real estate portfolio from residential aged-care provider Bolton Clark to bolster its unlisted healthcare property fund.

The transaction involves the land and residential aged-care buildings at nine sites in South Australia.

The properties will be added to Australian Unity’s wholesale Healthcare Property Trust (AUHPT), boosting its exposure to aged care.

The fund currently owns 22 aged-care properties across four states on the Australian eastern seaboard, but these represent 18% of its A$3.6bn portfolio. The majority is made up of hospitals (58%) and medical centres (24%).

Chris Smith, general manager of healthcare property at Australian Unity, said: “In as little as five years, some 60,000 to 80,000 Australians will turn 80 every year. Given strong macro-economic drivers, population shifts and alignment with our existing portfolio, fit-for-purpose aged-care properties present important opportunities for investors in AUHPT.

He added: “The quality of the assets and the secure, long-term lease arrangements will provide investors with a compelling, long-term income stream through to November 2042.”

Stephen Muggleton, CEO of Bolton Clarke Group, said the partnership with Australian Unity was important to the business’ long-term focus on growing its services to meet the needs of ageing Australians.

“This is an innovative way we can accelerate this growth. It enables us to expand much-needed aged care services into high-demand locations and to invest in our capital works development pipeline,” Muggleton said.

Bolton Clark will continue as the operator of the facilities under a minimum 20-year lease, generating commencing rent of A$12.1m and a starting income yield of 5.49%.