Equitix buys NHS assets

The UK PPP/PFI investor has bought a portfolio of six National Health Service LIFT assets. The NHS LIFT programme was launched under the UK’s previous Labour administration to try and deliver improvements in health provision.

Equitix, the UK public-private partnership (PPP) and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) investor, has acquired a portfolio of six National Health Service Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) assets from developer John Laing and Uberior, an investment arm of banking group HBOS.

The LIFT PPP scheme arose from the previous Labour government’s NHS Plan of 2000, a 10-year blueprint for investment in the NHS designed to deliver major improvements in health provision. NHS LIFT companies were set up to own and develop fully maintained property for primary, community and social care users and aimed to meet targets for care outlined in the NHS Plan.

Equitix has acquired a 60 percent share in the equity, subordinated debt and mezzanine debt interests in six LIFT companies for an undisclosed sum. The portfolio comprises the Greater Manchester, North Nottinghamshire, Southern Derbyshire, MaST (Manchester, Salford and Trafford), Leicester and Sandwell LIFT companies, with a combined capital expenditure of £370 million (€422 million; $583 million) across 45 buildings.

In a statement, Equitix said that project development and estate management firm Community Solutions would take on the management services contract for the assets. The same firm also manages a portfolio of LIFT assets acquired by Equitix’s first fund, which closed on £104 million in March 2010.

Last month, Equitix announced that it had surpassed the £150 million target it had set for its second fund, and was now seeking to hit a revised target of £250 million by the end of the year.