Oceania not preparing for public offering

  • 29/03/2016

By Sophie Boot

Oceania Healthcare, the aged-care operator owned by Macquarie Group funds, has denied reports it is preparing for an initial public offering.

Earlier this month, the Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported that Oceania was "expected to front potential buyers with Macquarie Capital in tow."

Chief executive Earl Gasparich told BusinessDesk the AFR story was "just speculative - there's no substance to it at all."

Oceania had seen a strong lift in earnings over the past year and a half coming towards its balance date in May, Mr Gasparich said. Recapitalisation, which last year he said was on the cards "probably in the short-to-medium term future" - isn't in the company's sights until at least 2017.

"We still need to recapitalise at some stage, but we need to get this year behind us then forecast forward for another year," Mr Gasparich said. "It would be potentially on the cards after that, but at the moment, we're focusing on the business itself."

Last November, Mr Gasparich said Oceania had no current constraints on capital and its focus was on developing "key strategy sites." The company, which was formed through the merger of ElderCare and QualCare in 2008, is building on its Lady Allum rest home site on Auckland's North Shore and has brownfield sites in Auckland, Tauranga, Nelson and Christchurch. It spent $24.7 million on development in the year ended May 31, 2015, and had $33m worth of property under development.

Oceania has about 2,800 care beds, which include hospital, rest home and dementia-level care, with a further 1,000 retirement village units, and is looking to add a further 1,400 retirement village units. Profit for 2015 was $13.3m, on operating revenue of $168.5m.