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UniSuper’s investment in VCCC to bear fruit as doors open

Dan Purves




UniSuper is to start receiving a high-quality cash flow from the Victorian Government as the doors of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) are due to open to patients in the next few weeks after nearly five years of construction.

The VCCC was developed as a public private partnership (PPP) and as such, the revenue stream comes to UniSuper from the Victorian State Government, which has a triple-A credit rating from Standard & Poor, for making the facility available.

“[We are] favourably disposed to PPPs, but we insist on conducting our own due diligence to ensure our comfort with the asset and the legal framework governing the investment. As well as the VCCC, we have invested in the Victorian Desalination Plant, AquaSure, which is a PPP delivering on return expectations,” John Pearce, chief investment officer of UniSuper, said in a statement to members.

In 2011, UniSuper committed $93 million for a 49 per cent stake in a consortium’s equity funding on a 29 year term (from financial close) for the VCCC. The consortium was led by the Plenary Group and included partners such as Honeywell.

UniSuper’s 49 per cent stake also gave the $52 billion super fund two out of the five board positions.

“Against the backdrop of significant scientific advancement in the treatment of such a debilitating disease, UniSuper is proud to be the major private investor in the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, a world-class facility, purpose-built for cancer research, treatment, care and education,” Pearce said.

He added the super fund “would love to do more of these deals but they are hard to come by”, as despite their virtues most impact investment did not yet deliver commercial returns.

The VCCC’s facilities includes:

  • A 130,000 square metre facility
  • More than 20,000 square metres of dedicated research space, including space for up to 1,200 researchers
  • Education and training facilities, including 47 seminar and meeting spaces and a multi-purpose lecture theatre
  • 96 overnight inpatient beds
  • 110 same-day specialist clinics
  • Eight operating theatres
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