Assura raises £182m as portfolio hits £2.6bn

Assura CEO Jonathan Murphy

Assura plc, the Warrington-based healthcare real estate investment trust (REIT), said on Thursday it raised around £182 million — below and expected £190 million — via a discounted share placing.

The shares were sold at 68p — a discount to the company’s closing price on Wednesday of 73.05p.

About 267.5 million new ordinary shares, around 10% of the company’s existing issued share capital, were sold.

Earlier, Assura published results for the six months ended September 30, 2021, showing its portfolio increased 6% to £2.595 billion and profit before tax rose 58% to £69.4 million.

Passing rent roll was up 5% to £127.5 million.

Total dividends settled in the six months to September 30 were £38.8 million or 1.45p per share.

Assura CEO Jonathan Murphy said: Assura has continued to make strong progress over the past six months.

“We expanded our high-quality portfolio with 27 new additions and grew Assura’s market-leading development pipeline to a record £480 million, building upon our acquisition of Apollo in February. 

“Our financial platform remains robust, with a conservative LTV of 39% and our lowest ever cost of debt of 2.30% down 17 bps from last year. 

“This is Assura’s eighth year of dividend growth ‒ a testament to our successful strategy, which continues to drive resilient cash flows, strong growth and a positive outlook for the company.

“The pandemic has shone a light like never before on Assura’s role as the NHS’s partner of choice, supported by our financial strength, sector expertise and mutually beneficial relationships with GPs. 

“With capacity constraints and health inequalities having been exacerbated significantly in the last 18 months, the provision of the high-quality community healthcare that Assura delivers has become more important than ever.  

“With our leadership position we are also well positioned to adapt to emerging trends within the sector such as the growing digitalisation at our sites and remote diagnosis.

“Most recently, more than 87,000 people benefited from our social impact strategy, SixbySix, from improvements to and through our healthcare buildings in the half-year period and as COP26 draws to a close we continue to play a key role in supporting the NHS’s commitment to become the world’s first net zero healthcare system.

“Today, we are also proposing an equity raise of approximately £190 million, to fund additional investment in our development pipeline, acquisitions and asset enhancements.

“This will help us to further build on our strong track record of delivering growth, supporting the NHS and increasing shareholder value.