Lendlease sells another 25% retirement stake to Aware Super for $490 million

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Australia’s largest village operator has taken another step towards reducing its exposure to the sector, selling off a further 24.9% of its retirement village portfolio to the Australian super fund.

The deal leaves Lendlease with just a 25.1% stake in its 75 retirement villages, which will continue to operate under the Lendlease Retirement Living brand.

Aware Super had purchased 25% of Lendlease’s retirement business 12 months ago in February 2021 for $460 million.

This latest acquisition – valued at around $490 million – takes the super fund’s total exposure to Lendlease’s $2 billion portfolio to 49.9%.

Dutch pension fund APG Asset Management also holds a 25% stake that it bought in 2017 for around $450 million.

Lendlease had announced last month that it was shopping around to sell a further 25% of its retirement villages as it looks to free up capital for new projects.

“Strategically, we flagged some time ago our intent to further reduce our ownership of retirement living, consistent with our strategy to reallocate capital towards the delivery of our $112 billon development pipeline and grow our investments platform,” Lendlease Chief Executive Tony Lombardo (pictured above) told The Australian.

Aware Super Chief Investment Officer, Damian Graham (below), said the deal was an opportunity for Aware Super’s members to increase its interest in the sector. Aware Super also has a residential partnership with Lendlease and is a key investor in a number of Lendlease funds in Australia.

“Through our deep relationship with Lendlease, and our years of experience supporting Australians as they prepare for and transition to retirement, we see enormous potential for the future of retirement living,” he said.

Aware Super has $125 billion in assets under management and has also invested considerably in Build to Rent and affordable housing projects in Sydney and Melbourne.

The sale follows fellow ASX-listed operator Stockland’s sell-off of its Retirement Living Business to global investment firm EQT Infrastructure in February.

More on this story in next Tuesday’s SOURCE.