SPH invests in fund focused on aged care in Japan

From left: SPH's chief financial officer Chua Hwee Song, head of capital markets Loh Yew Seng, deputy chief executive Anthony Tan, and chief executive Ng Yat Chung with Bridge C Capital's CEO Daizo Yokota, and Singapore-based chairman Aki Tokuyama, S
From left: SPH's chief financial officer Chua Hwee Song, head of capital markets Loh Yew Seng, deputy chief executive Anthony Tan, and chief executive Ng Yat Chung with Bridge C Capital's CEO Daizo Yokota, and Singapore-based chairman Aki Tokuyama, SPH Silver Care consultant Wong Chiang Yin, and Bridge C Capital's Singapore head Daniel Wei Tien-Hao.PHOTO: SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has partnered real estate asset manager Bridge C Capital to set up a fund focused on investing in aged care and healthcare assets in Japan.

SPH, which publishes The Straits Times, will invest seed equity of up to $50 million in the fund, which will acquire assets such as senior housing, nursing homes and medical office buildings in Japan.

Bridge C will be the fund's asset manager, focusing on marketing, deal sourcing and management expertise. SPH and Bridge C will be jointly responsible for raising additional funds, as well as sourcing for suitable assets to acquire.

Mr Anthony Tan, deputy chief executive of SPH, said: "The move builds on the expertise SPH has acquired through operating Orange Valley, Singapore's largest nursing home operator, over the past two years. Expanding overseas in markets with fast-ageing populations, like Japan, gives us a chance to expand our recurring income base, as well as build up our asset management capabilities in a growth segment. We will be able to learn from leading aged-care operators overseas to improve Orange Valley's care and operational standards."

The Japan aged care market offers significant potential. Japan is projected to see its elderly population (aged 65 years and above) increase from 28 per cent in 2017 - highest in the world - to 30 per cent by 2025, SPH said.

Bridge C is a growing real estate asset manager in Japan which invests in a variety of asset classes including healthcare, hospitality, residences, offices and nursery schools. It also owns and operates the No. 1 real estate crowdfunding platform in Japan, SPH said.

Mr Daizo Yokota, chief executive of Bridge C Capital, said: "Our corporate mission is to invest where we can also do social good. Japan's population is rapidly ageing and the numbers are projected to grow even further. This partnership will enable us to create better elderly-friendly infrastructure."

Mr Aki Tokuyama, Singapore-based chairman of Bridge C Capital, said: "It is a great pleasure to partner a reputable company in Singapore. We hope this collaboration will showcase the good partnership between Singapore and Japan."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2019, with the headline 'SPH invests in fund focused on aged care in Japan'. Print Edition | Subscribe