Blog by Aedifica’s CEO Stefaan Gielens: 15 years of building the healthcare real estate of the future
Aedifica is blowing out 15 candles this year. Since its start in 2005, Aedifica has grown as a small Belgian start-up into a BEL20 company and international reference in European healthcare real estate. For 15 years Aedifica and its investors have been building the healthcare real estate of the future – and we are far from finished.
When Aedifica took its first steps on 7 November 2005, its 110-million-euro portfolio was entirely invested in apartment buildings and hotels. Three years later, healthcare real estate already represented Aedifica’s most important real estate segment. Another ten years later, in 2018, the Group divested all non-strategic segments and developed into a pure-play healthcare real estate investor. We have never failed to meet our ambitions: in 15 years’ time we have expanded our portfolio with a compound annual growth rate of 28%. That is why in 2020, thanks to our 3.5 billion euro portfolio, we became one of the largest listed healthcare real estate investors in Europe and a European market reference.
Furthermore, Aedifica’s growth story is through and through European. In 2013, the Group started its first activities outside Belgium with a series of investments in German care homes. In 2016, we moved to the Netherlands and from 2019 onwards, we stepped up our efforts and set foot in the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden. 7 years after Aedifica’s first international investments, Belgium represents only one third of our real estate portfolio. To support this strong European growth, we have ensured that we are firmly anchored in our six countries with local teams, allowing us to respond closely to the needs of our tenants and keep up to date with the ins and outs of the different markets in which we operate.
Due to the unique way in which Aedifica continues to grow year after year, the enthusiasm and interest in Aedifica’s international success story has only increased. To finance this growth, we called on our existing shareholders and new investors a number of times. Since 2010, Aedifica has raised more than 1.6 billion euro in seven capital increases. Our easy access to new capital reflects the market’s confidence in the Group. This confidence was also shown when Aedifica was included in the BEL20 index (the leading share index of Euronext Brussels) in March 2020.
There is no doubt that this growth can continue in the years to come. On 30 June 2020, Aedifica’s pipeline of development projects already amounted to €590 million and in September 2020, the Group announced a new €200 million framework agreement for the construction of ten new care campuses in Germany. These projects will provide Aedifica with a portfolio of more than 4.1 billion euro and does not take into account the new investment opportunities we are exploring, both in our existing and new markets.
For fifteen years, we have been investing in close cooperation with our tenants in innovative housing concepts that give our residents the space to live their lives as they wish – and we are far from finished”, Stefaan Gielens, CEO, Aedifica.
At Aedifica, we always keep an eye on the future. We understand that offering innovative housing concepts to our residents goes hand in hand with sustainability. That is why we have set up an ambitious action plan on sustainable entrepreneurship and are investing more than ever in sustainable technologies for our buildings.
Aedifica is set to continue to build the healthcare real estate of the future in the years to come and to invest in sustainable and innovative care concepts that put our residents centre stage and give them the space to receive care in the way they prefer.