The New Zealand and Canadian pension funds will hold a 50 per cent stake each in the business, according to a statement.
The asset disposal, which is valued at more than NZ$550 million ($364 million), is expected to complete within the next six months.
“The transaction is consistent with our long-term strategic refocus on Healthscope’s Australian hospital operations. We commenced a targeted sales process for the business at the beginning of the year, which drew interest from a number of interested parties attracted to APHG’s strength and resilience,” said Healthscope CEO Steven Rubic.
APHG provides pathology services to 75 per cent of New Zealand’s population with over 2,000 staff operating across its network of 25 laboratories and 150 collection centres. It has also offered testing services as part of New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participation of the new shareholders will have no impact on APHG’s customers, said its CEO Anoop Singh.
“The Super Fund has been looking at opportunities to invest into the healthcare sector where we can bring together our investment expertise and external partnerships to drive innovation and add long term value to the business. Never has the value of excellent healthcare and pathology services been more apparent than in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” commented NZ Super Fund CIO Stephen Gilmore.
Meanwhile, Ontario Teachers’ has built up its interest in APAC, having set up its regional office in Hong Kong. It was among bidders for Australia’s Abano Healthcare Group before terminating the deal earlier this year.
“We are excited about the opportunity to invest in APHG alongside our partner the NZ Super Fund and working together with the company as it transitions to a standalone entity,” said Ontario Teachers’ regional managing director Ben Chan.
In 2010, private equity firms Carlyle and TPG, which then operated the APHG brand, bought Healthscope in a $1.7 billion deal. They exited the investment in 2015.
Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, last year said it had agreed to co-invest in Healthscope after Brookfield Business Partners acquired the Aussie firm for $4.1 billion.
Australia’s healthcare sector has continued to attract investor interest. New funds include HESTA Healthcare Property Trust formed by the country’s superannuation fund HESTA, a $57 million debt fund by OneVentures targeting healthcare and technology financing, and Malaysian pension fund EPF’s $70 million commitment to a healthcare real estate fund by Dexus.