Tuesday 28 January 2020

Fund buys its fourth primary care site

Stock photo
Stock photo
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Valley Healthcare, a vehicle owned by the State-backed Irish Infrastructure Fund, has acquired a primary care centre in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

It brings to four the number of primary care centres that Valley Healthcare now controls.

It bought a new primary care centre in Tralee, Co Kerry, in December, and also owns two other operational primary care centres, in Wicklow and Mayo.

Valley Healthcare is managed by Glencar Healthcare, a firm chaired by former HSE chief executive Brendan Drumm. Glencar's founder is surgeon John Drumm.

The Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF) is co-managed by Irish Life Investment Managers and Australia's AMP Capital.

The IIF was established in 2012, with a €250m commitment from the sovereign Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

The primary care centres owned by Valley Healthcare in Wicklow and Mayo are operating under 25-year leases from the Health Service Executive.

Last year, Philip Doyle, the principal of the IIF at AMP Capital, said that Valley Healthcare ultimately aims to own between 10 and 20 primary healthcare centres in Ireland by about 2020.

He said yesterday that the acquisition of the primary care centres in Cork and Kerry would "make high-quality healthcare available to the local communities of Tralee and Mitchelstown".

Mr Doyle also said the latest acquisition by Valley Healthcare reflects the "strong investment opportunity we see in the healthcare sector" and that stable returns for 25 investors would be secured.

The 20,000 sq ft Michelstown centre is occupied by the HSE, a GP practice and other health services providers.

The primary care centre in Tralee extends over 105,000 sq ft and has acted as a public service hub in the town. A 42,000 sq ft space at the premises has been designated for use by the HSE to provide an array of primary healthcare services. Fit-out works have already started.

Brendan Drumm said the centres in Tralee and Mitchelstown would "underpin the work of the highly-skilled healthcare professionals working in these communities".

The services provided in the centres alongside the general practitioners will include those targeted at mental health, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dental, speech and language therapy and audiology.

The IIF has more than €500m of assets in Ireland under management, across sectors including healthcare, telecoms and wind energy.

Last year, it bought a majority stake in telecoms firm Enet, a company that manages the State-owned Metropolitan Area Network. IIF acquired its 78pc stake from Oakhill Advisors and other minority investors.

Irish Independent

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