Investment bank M.H. Carnegie and Catalyst Health suing Presbyterian Church of Queensland over Townsville aged care home

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Mark Carnegie’s (pictured above) M.H. Carnegie & Co has joined the legal action by Justin Laboo’s Catalyst Health REIT seeking $12.39 million plus interest and costs over the failed aged care operator PresCare, owned by the Presbyterian Church of Queensland.

The Presbyterian Church of Queensland is being sued over overdue rates at its Townsville aged care home. The M.H. Carnegie Catalyst Healthcare REIT has left the door open for other possible suits given their exposure to two other PresCare homes in Brisbane suburbs Corinda and Carina, the Financial Review reported.

Funds managed by M.H. Carnegie and Catalyst Healthcare had entered into 20-year sale and lease-back deals with PCQ in 2017 for these three properties, and under the deal terms Catalyst agreed to also provide a loan on PresCare’s equity contribution to the Townsville project.

Not For Profit St Vincent’s Care Services, which is part of St Vincent’s Health Australia, bought PresCare’s aged care facility Vela (154 beds including a 30-bed special care unit) in Carina, Brisbane, the recently opened Protea facility in Douglas, Townsville, and with the newly built WR Black facility in Cordina, Brisbane, for an estimated price of just over $100 million by PresCare’s receivers. The deal is understood to close next month.

Queensland’s Sunsuper Superannuation Fund is the key investor in the M.H. Carnegie Catalyst Health REIT, which had invested nearly $100 million in partnership with PresCare, and has seen only a fraction returned. Less than two weeks after receivers were appointed, Catalyst lodged a claim in the Supreme Court of Queensland, outlining it was owed tens of millions by the PCQ.

“Ultimately, the money that was invested into these facilities is from SunSuper and we have fiduciary obligations to protect them and their 1.4 million members,” M.H. Carnegie partner Matthew Beach told the Financial Review.

“Once PCQ went down the path of receivership, we were left with no choice but to file a claim for the Townsville facility.”

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