EQT Real Estate, the property arm of the Stockholm-based private equity company, is continuing its buying spree with a €300 million investment in senior care homes in Northern Italy.
It is EQT’s first direct investment in Italy, made through a joint venture with Italian developer Arco Lavori to create a portfolio of affordable, purpose-built grade-A senior care homes. Five sites have been identified in the Lombardy and Emilia Romagna regions, that will provide a total of over 1,000 beds. The first two homes will be delivered by late 2022 and the rest the following year.
“EQT Real Estate is thrilled to be entering the Italian healthcare market and investing in a sector which is lacking grade-A facilities and is expected to benefit from robust demographic trends in the country,” said Alessio Lucentini, MD, investment advisor and head of Italy at EQT. “In addition to the initial five sites, we are currently evaluating a growing pipeline of projects, mainly in Northern Italy, to build a large scale, resilient and downside-protected portfolio.”
Demand is expected to increase in Italy and the market is undersupplied. The population aged 75 and above is forecast to rise from the current 11.5% to 14% in the next decade.
Shortage of top quality Italian care homes likely to persist
“The combination of EQT Real Estate’s pan-European expertise and our local reputation and know-how is expected to create a much-needed product for an important and growing part of Italy’s population,” said Emiliano Battistini, CEO of Arco Lavori. “There is a growing undersupply of affordable grade-A care home facilities in Italy and this trend is expected to continue in the years to come.”
The joint venture is looking to expand to other Italian regions like Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont and has opted for development because it is too difficult to find existing structures that can be upgraded to the required standard. The senior homes will be sustainable, with solar panels on the roof, recycling of waste and rainwater management. The care homes will also seek to achieve green certifications such as LEED and WELL, as well as following specific ESG principles and promoting sustainable living practices within the care homes themselves.
“The joint venture combines our thematic focus on ‘beds and sheds’ in primary European markets with a social impact strategy underpinned by EQT’s industry-leading sustainability credentials,” Lucentini said.
Last year EQT, which has assets under management worth over €82 billion, bought Casa.it and Idealista.it, the two main online property listing platforms in Italy, for €1.3 billion.
Earlier this year the Swedish group continued its global expansion with the €1.6 billion acquisition of US-based Exeter Property.