Cofinimmo extends its healthcare portfolio to Spain

Belgian healthcare REIT Cofinimmo has broadened its mandate to Spain with deals for five construction projects across the country costing €45 mln.

The pipeline of schemes has already been pre-let to a major Spanish operator, Clece Vitam, the firm said.

'After Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany, Cofinimmo expands its activities to Spain,' commented Jean-Pierre Hanin, CEO of Cofinimmo.

'This is in line with the group’s strategy, namely the consolidation of its leadership in healthcare real estate in Europe and an increased geographical diversification of its portfolio. We have the ambition to build up a considerable portfolio in this country. In addition, we launch a partnership with a leading operator in the Spanish healthcare segment,' Hanin added.

The transaction includes sites in Vigo and Galicia, in Northwest Spain; and Valencia, Murcia and Andalusia in the east and south of the country. All assets will be delivered by summer of 2021.

Local expertise
Maria Garbayo Garcia, of Spanish nationality, will join the Cofinimmo team as from October 1 as business development manager Spain, reporting directly to the chief operating officer for healthcare.

Garbayo Garcia has more than ten years of experience in M&A, which she acquired in New York and London, first at Lehman Brothers, and later at Nomura and Stella Advisors.

Operating partner Clece Vitam is headquartered in Madrid, and is currently responsible for the full or partial operation of 145 nursing and care homes, plus 92 day care centres across the country.

Spanish opportunity
According to Cofinimmo, Spain offers interesting growth opportunities as its ageing population is expected to increase significantly faster than in the firm's other markets such as Belgium and France. However, with an average of 44 beds per 1,000 people over 65 years old, Spain has less and often older nursing and care homes than other European countries. It is expected to catch up rapidly though, the firm said.

The REIT calculates that approximately 380,000 beds are currently available in Spain. They are managed by operators from the private sector, by charity associations and by public operators, each taking up about one third of the beds. The 15 largest private operators currently represent approximately 22% of the total number of beds, creating significant growth opportunities.

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