Assura West Gorton

Assura announces second 2017 share offer

Assura, the Warrington-headquartered developer and investor of primary care facilities, has declared its intention to raise up to £330m through a share issue as it looks to make further acquisitions.

In its results for the six months to 30 September 2017, released today, Assura said that it had made acquisitions totaling £174.1m during the period and that it has a near-term pipeline of £209m, with £126m of acquisition opportunities and £83m of development.

Assura said that it has delivered substantial growth in its portfolio and income over the last three financial years, and that it continues to see opportunities to make further investments in the primary care property market, a sector it describes as having attractive fundamentals and a track record of strong risk-adjusted returns.

The business expects the £126m of acquisition opportunities, the majority of them individual centres in what remains a highly fragmented market, to be under contract before the end of its next six-month reporting period.

There are five development schemes on site, with a cost of £34.3m, and Assura expects to be on site wit a further 12 projects worth £49m within a year. It said that the group’s development pipeline is the strongest it has been in five years and that the financial year to 31 March 2018 may be the group’s busiest year in recent history.

Jonathan Murphy, chief executive, said: “Primary care remains at the heart of the NHS agenda. With Assura’s development pipeline being the strongest it has been for many years, the anticipated proceeds of this fundraising will allow us to continue investing in the primary health care estate of the future and positions us at the forefront of this opportunity.”

In its interim results, Assura said that profit before tax had increased by 76% to £73.4m and that its investment property has increased in value from £1.3bn in March to £1.6bn. The six-month reporting period has seen an 11.7% increase in rent roll, to £83.1m. It has a current loan-to-value of 36%.

Assura raised £98m in a June 2017 share placing, and has since added to its senior management team with the arrival of CFO Jayne Cottam from Morris Homes in August and Ed Smith, formerly NHS ‘improvement chairman’ joining as a non-executive director in October.

Murphy added: “Our business model and strong, diversified funding structure has allowed us to accelerate investment, grow our property portfolio and deliver a strong financial performance.”

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