First State Super makes first move into retirement village sector with Oak Tree investment

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The NSW-based super fund has snapped up a majority share in the QLD-based village operator, which has 28 retirement villages on the East Coast, created over 13 years.

Founded in 2004 by Mark Bindon, Franco De Pasquale and Marco De Pasquale, Oak Tree previously sold around 40% of the Group to private equity firm Blue Sky in 2013 for $20 million to further expand their footprint.

At the time, they had six villages and nine under construction. 12 months later, they had 19 villages.

Blue Sky’s FY17 results revealed it had sold its share in Oak Tree, and Oak Tree Group Managing Director Mark Bindon tells us they had a “very good return” on their investment.

Mr Bindon says both he and Franco will be staying on with the Group and are delighted that First State has come on board as they continue their expansion. “The investment acknowledges our success as a leading regional and metropolitan provider,” he said.

First State Super CEO Michael Dwyer AM says the super fund was attracted by the Group’s reputation and “strong potential for growth”, adding: “We believe this investment will deliver sustainable returns for our members for many years to come.”

A clear sign private investment sees an opportunity in Australia’s growing number of retirees.