AXA in €180m Italian hospital deal

The French insurer’s asset management arm has bought eight facilities jointly with New York-listed Medical Properties Trust.

AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets (AXA IM) has acquired a portfolio of eight acute care hospitals in Northern Italy from local operator Policlinico Di Monza.

The real asset management unit of French insurer AXA now owns the assets jointly with Medical Properties Trust (MPT), a real estate investment trust listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Both hold half of the joint venture.

The transaction, which values the portfolio at €180 million, comprises a sale and leaseback with Policlinico Di Monza. The company has committed to a long-term lease and will continue to run the facilities. The deal also leaves the door open for further transactions with Policlinico Di Monza.

The portfolio comprises facilities totalling over 80,000 square metres and 829 hospital beds. Located across the Piedmont and Lombardy regions, they also includes the largest hospital in the province of Monza-Brianza.

The deal is the second joint investment made by AXA IM and MPT following the acquisition of a healthcare development site in Valencia, Spain, during which the French asset manager acted on behalf of a large US pension. The pair is now looking to extend this relationship by looking for further deals in Western Europe and the Nordics, AXA IM said in a statement.

The acquisition comes two years after the implementation of Solvency II prompted AXA to sell Ardian, its former private equity and infrastructure unit, to external investors and its management team.

Solvency II, a body of regulation that requires insurers to hold lumps of capital against risky assets, has since been toned down to account for the safer nature and liability-matching benefits of most investment-grade infrastructure debt.