With EQT sale confirmed, Stockland’s 20-year era in retirement village sector over

Published on

Stockland, Australia’s second-largest retirement village operator after Lendlease, informed the ASX on Friday that it had ended its long association with owning and operating retirement villages after the $987 million sale of its Retirement Living division to global investment firm EQT Infrastructure was finalised.

Stockland CEO Tarun Gupta (pictured right) announced on 23 February that it had ended a seven-year search for a buyer for its Retirement Living portfolio after entering into a binding Sale and Purchase Agreement with EQT Infrastructure.

The disposal price represented a 1.9% discount to Stockland’s December 2021 book value of $1.006 billion.

“The sale of the Retirement Living business is a significant step in the execution of the Stockland strategy. I thank all of the employees in the Retirement Living business for their contribution over the years, and their focus and commitment during this transition period,” said Tarun in the statement to the ASX.

The deal includes 58 retirement living villages and 10 development projects underway and in planning, with more than 300 Stockland employees transferring to EQT Infrastructure.

Stockland has been one of the nation’s largest retirement village operators since it began investing in the sector about 20 years ago under former Stockland strategist David Pitman’s strategy of “Residential, Retail and Retirement”. The strategy was quietly dropped in 2017.

In February, Stockland announced it had formed a new $4 billion Stockland Residential Rental Partnership with Japanese real estate investor Mitsubishi Estate Asia to drive the growth of its land lease business and expand its third-party capital platform.

To cement its position in the crowded land lease market, Stockland has spent:

  • $18 million for a 12.7ha block, in Armstrong Creek, near Geelong, VIC, for an over-50s land lease community of 250 homes; and
  • About $60 million for a 26.12ha farm at Curlewis, another Geelong suburb, for a land lease community and traditional housing estate. There will be 325 homes in the land lease development and 100 traditional homes.

EQT Infrastructure has announced its own re-brand of the Stockland Retirement Living business – and a new CEO and Chair.