Belgian healthcare real estate company Aedifica has moved into the UK market with the acquisition of a £450m (€498.8m) property portfolio.

The deal, one of the largest UK healthcare transactions of 2018, will see the listed firm acquiring the portfolio of 93 properties, comprising more than 5,700 ensuite beds, from an affiliate of Lone Star Real Estate Fund IV.

Around 26% of the portfolio rent comes from assets located in London and the South East, Aedifica said.

Aedifica said the £450m paid for the portfolio is a 5% discount to the fair value as estimated by an independent valuation expert.

Aedifica’s current portfolio in Belgium, Germany and in The Netherlands is worth around €1.8bn in total.

Stefaan Gielens, the CEO of Aedifica, said with the latest acquisition, Aedifica adds a fourth country to its portfolio and anchors its “strategy as a pure play investor” in European healthcare real estate.

“The UK provides an attractive investment opportunity for Aedifica, since the healthcare market is still very fragmented and the ageing population leads to increasing demand for care assets.

“Moreover, given current market conditions, Aedifica will acquire this portfolio at a discount as compared to the independently appraised fair value of the buildings.”

JLL advised Aedifica in its underwriting and due diligence process.

John Gladstone, a director of JLL’s EMEA healthcare capital markets team, said: “This transaction marks the first time a specialist European healthcare real estate investment trust has invested in the UK and one of the largest transaction for the UK market for 2018.

”The UK’s fast growing elderly care market continues to attract new investment due to strong fundamentals. The number of people aged over 80 in the UK is set to double by 2050 and demand for care services and purpose-built facilities will only increase.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed at end of January 2019.