BlackBee to raise €250m healthcare fund

Up to 1,000 new state-of-the-art beds and 750 existing beds will in the residential healthcare system are to be created as part of a €250m fund being raised by BlackBee.

The BlackBee fund will initially seek to raise €250m to invest in the acquisition and development of state-of-the-art care homes, with the money being targeted from both institutional and professional private investors.

Over 1,500 new jobs will be created, 1,000 existing jobs will be sustained and a further 800 will be supported, under these plans, during construction.

“Through this innovative healthcare fund, the first of its kind in Ireland, we plan to use private investment to revolutionise the residential care home market”

The investment will initially see the construction of 1,000 new state of the art single ensuite beds and the acquisition of 750 existing beds operating under a new brand, Aperee.

Planning for the future

“Through this innovative healthcare fund, the first of its kind in Ireland, we plan to use private investment to revolutionise the residential care home market,” explained BlackBee executive director David O’Shea.

“This fund is designed to show how the private sector can actively support the public sector by providing a supply of quality care home beds to meet the rapidly growing demand. Investors will benefit from a real return, while those using the homes will still have prices set by the National Treatment Purchase Fund. Residents and their families will benefit from Aperee’s expertise and a new standard of care at the same cost as its competitors.”

A number of target sites and existing homes have already been identified and Aperee expects to acquire two to three homes before the end of 2019. Construction on new sites is set to commence in early 2020.

The BlackBee Healthcare fund is due to open in September.

Ireland’s population currently has 637,000 over 65s and 67,000 over 85s. By 2040 it is estimated that this will increase to a staggering 1.2m over 65s and 216,000 over 85s.

The operational arm of the fund, Aperee, will be led by CEO Paul Kingston, who has over 22 years experience in the residential care sector.

According to an in-depth report in ThinkBusiness earlier this year, in Ireland the majority of health services are funded by the State with €16bn in funding provided by the State to the HSE for the provision of health and social care services in 2019; an increase of 5.6pc (€848m) from 2018. In the nursing home sector, 80pc of nursing home care is provided by the private sector with the other 20pc by the State. At the moment there are 578 nursing homes with 30,757 beds in Ireland and of those, 122 nursing homes are public and have 6,015 beds.

In an interview at the time, Bank of Ireland’s head of health Hilary Coates explained: “We analysed the needs for beds on a county by county basis until 2026 and this was done through each county’s demographic profile. This review projects a shortfall up to 7,500 nursing home beds by 2026. By sharing this information with our customers, we can best support the success of businesses in providing sustainable long-term care.”

To find out more about the Irish health sector, check out Bank of Ireland’s latest healthcare sector update.

Written by John Kennedy

Published: 22 July 2019

Caring for elderly image: Lighthunter/Shutterstock