Equitix snaps up quintet of UK PFI investments

The deals agreed with Foresight comprise interests in UK schools and hospitals bought in 2013.

UK-based fund manager Equitix has secured a deal to buy five UK PFI assets from a Foresight Group VCT fund.

The acquired portfolio includes healthcare facilities comprising Bishop Auckland Hospital, Lochgilphead Community Hospital and the Local Forensic Psychiatry Unit at Stobhill Hospital, as well as two educational assets in Stirling Schools and Sandwell Schools. The projects have an average of 17-and-a-half years remaining of the concession contracts.

Foresight Group invested in the assets in late 2012 and early 2013. It originally spent a combined £4.2 million ($5.7 million; €4.7 million) on a 12.5 percent stake in the Stirling Schools PFI and a 50 percent share in Sandwell Schools. An additional £10.2 million was invested in the healthcare facilities for 20 percent of Bishop Auckland, 40 percent of Stobhill and 45 percent of Lochgilphead.

Equitix declined to disclose the purchase price of the latest deal.

While Equitix owns a substantial UK-based hospital portfolio, it has also invested in five Italian healthcare assets, the latest of which netted it an 85 percent share of a hospital PPP in Novara in August.

“Whilst we continue to diversify the Equitix portfolio across other infrastructure sectors and jurisdictions, investment into availability-based PFI projects within the UK remains a cornerstone of the business,” said Hugh Crossley, the firm’s chief investment officer.

Equitix recently wrapped up investment from its £750 million fourth fund with a £558 million deal for a 40 percent stake in the 317MW Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, which included co-investment from listed group TRIG. It began fundraising for its fifth fund in Q4 last year.