November 16, 2009 / 3:03 PM / 10 years ago

Aegon seeks $500 mln for UK healthcare property fund

* Ageing Baby Boomers trigger rising demand for care homes

* 5-yr fund targets 14 pct internal rate of return

LONDON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Aegon Asset Management (AEGN.AS) is looking to raise 300 million pounds ($500 million) of equity to launch a fund inspired by Britain’s ageing population and a surge in demand for care homes and healthcare real estate.

The Aegon Target Healthcare Property Unit Trust is the first fund devised by AEGON since the arrival of its property team from Aviva Investors (AV.L) in 2008.

The five-year, closed-ended fund will be 50 percent geared and is open to investment professionals with a minimum subscription of 5 million pounds. It is targeting a 14 percent internal rate of return on a geared basis.

The majority of investment will be in newly built care homes, but the fund may also invest in sub-markets such as day surgery units, critical care facilities, dementia care and learning difficulty units.

Selected properties will be let to tenants with strong balance sheets, on 25-year plus leases with annual rent uplifts.

“There is a growing demand for healthcare facilities in the UK as the post Second World War Baby Boomers retire and their healthcare needs increase,” Aegon Asset Management property director Phil Clark said.

The Office of National Statistics estimates there will be 2.85 million people living in Britain aged 85 years or older by 2031, feeding into long-term demand for retirement homes and privately-funded healthcare property. (Reporting by Sinead Cruise; Editing by Andrew Macdonald) ($1=.5993 Pound) (See www.reutersrealestate.com for the global service for real estate professionals from Reuters)

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