SMBC-led group in exclusive talks to buy Orion healthcare assets -source

TOKYO Fri Aug 1, 2014 4:50am EDT

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TOKYO Aug 1 (Reuters) - A consortium led by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) is in exclusive talks to buy elderly care facilities and other healthcare assets in Japan from investment firm Orion Partners in a deal valued at over 50 billion yen ($486 million), a person with the knowledge of the matter said.

The consortium obtained the exclusive right to negotiate with Hong Kong-based Orion Partners buy the assets, which are made up of about 20 facilities, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

Officials at SMBC and Orion Partners were not immediately available for comment.

In October, SMBC, the main banking unit of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, said it set up an asset holding company with NEC Capital Solutions and Ship Healthcare Holdings in preparation to launch a healthcare REIT, which invests in elderly care homes and medical malls.

Daiwa Securities Group Inc and a group led by Shinsei Bank Ltd and Kenedix Inc have also announced plans to launch similar REITs. Currently, fast-ageing Japan has no listed REITs that focus on healthcare facilities for seniors. ($1 = 102.9100 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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