NZ’s Arvida snaps up Arena Living from Blackstone for NZ$345M

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Listed New Zealand operator Arvida has been revealed as the buyer behind investment giant Blackstone’s Arena Living retirement portfolio for $345 million NZD ($330 million AUD), comprising six villages across Auckland and Tauranga.

Just a week ago, we reported that a number of village operators were eyeing off the villages.

The New York based Blackstone Group, which has total assets of US$26 billion, bought Lendlease Group’s portfolio of five New Zealand retirement villages for an undisclosed sum, said to be around $100 million, in February 2016, when Lendlease left the New Zealand market. Blackstone renamed the village grouping Arena Living. It bought the 38 apartments Mt Eden Gardens, also in Auckland, in January 2018.

The deal will see Arvida take over Peninsula Club (pictured), Mayfair Village, Knightsbridge Village, Parklane Village, Mt Eden Gardens and Ocean Shores Village from current owner Blackstone, adding 648 villas, 340 apartments, and 58 serviced apartments to its portfolio; this will increase its size by 24 per cent.

Arvida is picking up the villages for a 12% discount on their CBRE valuation of $394 million NZD as at 30 June, and expects the purchase to add $32-34 million NZD in underlying profit to its FY22 results on a pro forma basis.

According to Arvida CEO Jeremy Nicoll, the villa-led properties are situated across 48 total hectares of well-located land.

“A portfolio of this scale in these locations is challenging to replicate, with most newer developments in desirable central Auckland and Tauranga locations being more apartment focused.

“We have the ability to consider a range of future development and care options to enhance and improve resident and village amenity with the low-density spread-out nature of these sites,” he said.

Arvida currently owns 4,325 units and beds across 33 villages; it has flagged potential redevelopment of the Mt Eden Village into a “boutique retirement residence” after the takeover.