HICL buys UK hospital PFI for £4.6m

The acquisition of a 75% stake in the Brentwood Community Hospital PFI takes the number of assets in HICL’s portfolio to 41. HICL has almost tripled the size of its portfolio over the last five years.

HICL Infrastructure, the UK’s first listed infrastructure investment company, has bought a majority stake in a UK hospital project, taking the number of assets in its portfolio to 41.

The infrastructure investor paid £4.6 million (€5.2 million; $7.5 million) for a 75 percent shareholding in the Brentwood Community Hospital, a project finance initiative (PFI) project. The seller was Kajima Partnerships and other minority shareholders in Brentwood Hospital, HICL said in a statement. 

HICL has recently announced a set of strong results for the year ending at March 31, 2011, almost doubling its profit before tax to £45.2 million. It also grew its portfolio by 32.1 percent, valuing it at £673.1 million as at March 31, 2011. 

That growth was the culmination of a year that saw HICL acquire five new investments and four incremental stakes for £151 million. Since the close of the financial year, HICL has already spent close to £22 million to purchase stakes in three UK PFI school projects and Brentwood Hospital. 

That brings HICL’s portfolio to 41 infrastructure investments – most of them operational – an almost threefold increase in size since the fund launched in 2006 with 15 infrastructure assets worth £250 million. The investments made last year also include HICL’s first Canadian deal. 

HICL is being advised by InfraRed Capital Partners, the management team formerly known as HSBC Specialist Investments, which spun out of HSBC in May. As part of the agreement, the bank retained a 19.9 percent stake in the $4 billion infrastructure and real estate platform. HSBC also said it would consider commitments to future funds of InfraRed on a ‘case by case’ basis.