Bupa's growth in South continues

International aged-healthcare company Bupa is continuing its southern expansion, having received Overseas Investment Office approval for its $4.18 million purchase of land in Invercargill.

Bupa has bought a 1.34ha property in Cargill St, which includes a retirement village and elder care business, and intends to convert half the rest-home beds for dementia care.

While UK-based Bupa flys under the radar much of the time, it and listed competitors Ryman Healthcare, Metlifecare and Summerset have all embarked on large-scale expansion during the past five years, as the percentage of the ageing population increases.

In June, Bupa bought Oceania Group facilities in Taranaki, Dannevirke and Pahiatua, including two integrated care home and village facilities and one stand-alone care home, plus another rest-home facility in Invercargill.

Last week, Ryman Healthcare, the country's largest retirement village operator, unveiled plans to build a new $100 million facility in Pukekohe on a 6.58ha site, which it hopes to open next year.

The village will include two- and three-bedroom independent townhouses, apartments and an aged care centre which will be a rest-home, and offer specialist dementia and hospital-level care.

Bupa has said in the past it has no shareholders, but reinvested money to provide better healthcare for customers and also supported health charities.

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