NZ Super, Ontario Teachers’ to buy Healthscope’s NZ pathology business

Australian healthcare services provider Healthscope will sell its New Zealand pathology business, Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG), to the NZ Super Fund and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

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.

The NZ$46 billion ($33 billion) fund has previously backed global alternative asset firms such as Bain Capital, KKR and HarbourVest.

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.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.