Japara acquisition two years in the making: Calvary CEO Martin Bowles

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Catholic Not For Profit Calvary Healthcare’s takeover of ASX-listed Japara Healthcare reflects the culmination of a two-year strategy to grow the organisation’s aged care and home-based care portfolio, says CEO Martin Bowles PSM.

As we reported last week, Japara shareholders voted in favour of Calvary acquiring Japara’s 50 aged care homes and five retirement villages, which are home to 4,500 residents. The group also has 6,000 staff.

Martin says the acquisition forms a part of a strategy to grow the organisation to deliver an integrated model of care which extends across hospital care, residential care and home care.

“What was clear to us is the aged care and home-based care strategically is good,” he said. “We knew we had to have more and you do need some scale in this game.”

“Our real game is to be at the centre of integrated care, so how do you look after people in different phases, and we can do that because we have the hospital sector, the home-based sector and now a very large presence in the residential care.”

Martin adds that there was also a good match between the mindsets of the two organisations.

“As a business, their value set is similar to ours,” he said. “Just because they are an ASX-listed company doesn’t mean they don’t have the same sort of structure.”

Japara’s five villages also fit into the Calvary model with the operator running six independent living complexes alongside some of its aged care homes.

Its new site at the old Bethlehem hospital in Caulfield South, 10km southeast of the Melbourne CBD, will operate under the co-located care model with independent living and residential care.

“We’re trying to build a real village concept so it’s all part and parcel,” said Martin.

Looking ahead, the CEO agrees with Ingenia Chairman Jim Hazel’s prediction that retirement villages will be offering residential-level care within five years.

“I think you will see a blurring of home care and residential care over time,” he said. “People will want to be cared for in their own home.”

Calvary’s acquisition will be finalised this Friday with an integration team to focus on incorporating the Japara portfolio into the organisation.

Watch out for the full story in an upcoming issue of SATURDAY.