Residential care home operator Aperee has announced its first acquisition with the completion of a transaction to acquire Padre Pio Nursing Home in Churchtown, Mallow, Co. Cork.
Aperee is believed to have paid around €5m for the 52-bed nursing home, which stands on a three-acre site in the village of Churchtown.
Such a site could provide potential for an extension that would increase the nursing home's capacity to 75 beds.
The vendors are Shane and Mary McCabe.
Aperee is the operational arm of the Irish investment firm BlackBee Healthcare Fund, which is seeking to raise €250m to invest in the acquisition and development of state-of-the-art care homes by June.
The funding is coming from both institutional and professional private investors.
Aperee chief executive Paul Kingston said the Padre Pio home is the first of several existing homes which Aperee aims to acquire in the next 12 to 18 months.
The first of its new developments is expected to be located in Glanmire to the east of Cork city.
"We are interested in acquiring homes which have an excellent reputation of care. The home itself is modern and has a capacity to expand," Mr Kingston said.
"Padre Pio meets all these requirements and we look forward to continuing the excellent care provided under the stewardship of Shane and Mary.
"We also look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our residents in Padre Pio, ably led by director of nursing Elaine Murphy and her team."
Departing owner Shane McCabe said: "We are delighted that an experienced sector professional team like Aperee, who share our care ethos, led by Paul Kingston who has 20-plus years experience in the sector, has acquired our home and have no doubt they will continue the same ethos of care we have delivered over the previous 15 years."
The BlackBee Healthcare Fund will initially see the construction of 900 state-of-the-art single en-suite beds and the acquisition of about 1,100 existing beds.
Over 1,000 jobs will be created, 1,500 existing jobs will be sustained and a further 800 will be supported during construction.
A number of target sites and existing homes have already been identified.
BlackBee Group sees this as an investment that will set new care standards, offer transformative social impact and promote economic growth.
A recent report from agents CBRE pointed out that European institutional investors are acquiring an increasing number of Irish nursing homes. Some of these are undertaking 'sale and lease back' deals with existing operators.
CBRE expects operational groups - including Brindley Healthcare, Ditchley Group, Trinity Care and Sonas - to dominate buying activity in the healthcare sector over the next 12 months.
It has been estimated that such groups may spend as much as €100m on acquisitions this year.