Singapore-based Keppel Corp. Ltd. is entering the senior living market by purchasing a 50% stake in Tucson, AZ-based Watermark Retirement Communities for up to $77.3 million, the company announced Thursday.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in three tranches, with the first one expected to occur by April.
“David Barnes, Watermark’s co-founder and CEO, our senior management team and I are very excited about this transaction,” Watermark Chairman David Freshwater said. “Keppel is a leading multi-business company with a 50-year operating history, bringing to the venture not only a new source of capital to fuel our firm’s rapid expansion but also, and equally importantly, invaluable international business experience and savvy to support Watermark’s world-wide expansion in the years to come.”
Privately held Watermark, 15th largest seniors housing operator, according to the 2017 ASHA 50 list of the American Seniors Housing Association, manages 52 senior housing communities with a total of 9,400 beds across 21 states. Eight additional communities are planned to open by 2020. Assets under management approximate $2.7 billion.
Beyond the United States, the company has formed Watermark Senior Living China and also is engaged in a joint-venture operating company with a Chinese state-owned financial and insurance group to manage its senior living projects across China.
“This acquisition is a strategic move for Keppel to expand into this new growth sector, leveraging Watermark’s deep expertise and agile business model. It will also expand the range of asset classes that Keppel Capital is involved in,” Keppel CEO Loh Chin Hua said. “As a solutions provider for sustainable urbanisation, Keppel is well placed to expand our capabilities into the senior living sector with a view to offering customised solutions to Singapore and other markets in Asia.”
Keppel has a presence in more than 20 countries.