Bartra sells four nursing homes in €161m deal

Richard Barrett group plans care home expansion while Belgian property group Aedifica is major player in Irish market

Developer Richard Barrett has sold a portfolio of four care homes to listed Belgian property group, Aedifica in a €161 million deal.

The four properties – two Dublin nursing homes, Ireland’s largest step-down unit for patients leaving hospital and another nursing home currently in development – were owned by Mr Barrett’s Bartra Healthcare.

Loughshinny nursing home in Skerries, which opened in 2019, accommodates 125 people. Northwood nursing home in Santry, which has 121 beds and the Beaumont Lodge Health Service Executive transitional care unit in Artane, with 221 spaces, both opened in 2020. Clondalkin Lodge nursing home, which is currently under development, will offer 150 beds when it opens in the third quarter of next year

Bartra will continue to run the homes under long-term leases which, Aedifica says, will yield an initial net rent yield of about 5 per cent. It will also operate another Aedifica site in Crumlin.


The company will also continue to control several other planned nursing home sites. These include one in Dalkey where Mr Barrett’s group has been at loggerheads with broadcaster Pat Kenny over plans for a 104-bed, five-storey development that is now before An Bord Pleanála.

Investment opportunity

An Bord Pleanála recently refused permission for another five-storey nursing home and step-down scheme, with 131 beds, that Bartra had sought to build at Cookstown Industrial Estate in Tallaght.

Aedifica has been investing heavily in Irish healthcare properties since February of last year when it entered the Irish market with the purchase of a Cork nursing home.

At the time, Aedifica chief executive Stefaan Gielens said: “Ireland provides an attractive investment opportunity for Aedifica, since the care market is still very fragmented and the rapidly ageing population will lead to increasing demand for healthcare real estate.”

With this latest transaction, Aedifica has now invested almost €460 million in 21 nursing home sites, some still in development, in just 18 months. When all are completed, it will have over 2,350 rooms and a footprint that extends across Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, Meath, Louth and Kildare.

‘Positive step’

The Bartra deal is by a distance the Belgian group’s largest single investment in the State where it is now among the leading investors in care homes.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Gielens said the Bartra deal would “further strengthen our position and visibility in the Irish market and contributes immediately to the group’s results”.

Bartra Healthcare chief executive Declan Carlyle said it was an “exciting and positive step” for the company.

“The transaction will further strengthen our position in the Irish nursing home sector, and we are looking forward to developing our services and expanding our portfolio of homes,” he said.

Bartra has expressed the intention of becoming the “premium and largest nursing home brand in the country”. Mr Barrett is also investing significantly in proposed co-living developments in Dublin as well as a “later living” scheme in Blackrock which is currently in planning.

Aedifica, which specialises in healthcare property, especially seniors housing, has 600 sites across eight European countries valued at more than €5.3 billion.

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle is Deputy Business Editor of The Irish Times