Monday 16 September 2019

Ditchley buys rival Talacare in €10m care centre deal

Healthcare business the Ditchley Group has bought rival company Talacare for almost €10m. Stock image
Healthcare business the Ditchley Group has bought rival company Talacare for almost €10m. Stock image
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Healthcare business the Ditchley Group has bought rival company Talacare for almost €10m.

Talacare is the developer and operator of a primary care centre in Tallaght in Dublin that also provides academic facilities for trainee medical professionals.

The 75,000 sq ft centre houses local GP practices, HSE local services, out-of-hours services and a community pharmacy.

An academic centre has also been established to accommodate Trinity College Dublin's Institute of Population Health. It also delivers undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, including GP training.

It's the sixth investment by Ditchley, which owns five nursing homes in counties Kerry, Galway, Cork and Kilkenny. The deal brings the value of Ditchley's portfolio to more than €40m.

"The state-of-the-art centre greatly enhances health and patient care for the people of Tallaght and the surrounding area with its wide range of healthcare services," said Ditchley CEO John Minihan.

"This centre successfully demonstrates how privately-funded investment can significantly expand and enhance health and patient care in Ireland.

"We look forward to working with the HSE, local GPs and Trinity College to deliver world-class healthcare and academic research services."

Ditchley employs 325 staff and is looking to expand further. Formerly know as iNua Health, its executive chairman is Noel Creedon, who runs the iNua hospitality arm.

That business has bought a number of hotels including the Muckross Park in Killarney.

The private healthcare sector has been a hotbed of investment activity in recent times.

The State-backed Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF) has said it is working on plans to consolidate the Irish private hospital market.

The IIF recently told the Sunday Independent it also plans to spend €100m on primary care centres over the next three years, via its Valley Healthcare arm. IIF principal Philip Doyle said it would look to build and manage centres across rural Ireland.

"The private hospital space in Ireland is fragmented, and there is an opportunity for a capable investor to consolidate these assets to deliver economies of scale and deliver improved health services more efficiently," Doyle added.

Also active in the primary care sector is Richard Barrett's Bartra Capital. Barrett was a key player alongside Johnny Ronan in Treasury Holdings.

Bartra chief executive Michael Flannery said in December that the firm is on target to deliver 1,000 nursing home beds by 2019, with planning for 462 of those secured. It wants to deliver 2,000 nursing home beds by 2020.

"Bartra is pursuing a number of other opportunities including the acquisition of further sites for development and the purchase of existing nursing homes," he said.

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