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ALA`s ann re Final Approval/Financing Westmead Priv Hospital

Document date:  Tue 04 Aug 1998
Published:  Tue 04 Aug 1998 00:00:00
Document No:  164926
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  N
Classification: 

ALPHA HEALTHCARE LIMITED                      1998-08-04  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Sydney                                                        

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$50 MILLION WESTMEAD CO-LOCATION PROJECT TO COMMENCE SEPTEMBER 1998

SYDNEY: 4 August 1998 - Alpha Healthcare ('Alpha') today announced
that it had now secured final regulatory approvals and project
financing for its Alpha Westmead Private Hospital, a $50 million
project to provide a 136 bed tertiary acute surgical and medical
hospital adjacent to the Westmead Public Hospital campus in Western
Sydney.

The Managing Director of Alpha Healthcare, Mr Paul Hopper said:
'There is a growing demand for private hospital care in Sydney's
West, and our 136- bed hospital will go a long way to meeting that
demand'.

'Following the granting of final government approvals and council
consent to minor variations to the original Development Approval we
are on track to start construction next month'.

The project will be wholly owned by Alpha through a special purpose
subsidiary and project financed by way of a non-recourse loan from
the ANZ banking Group of $35 million together with financing of $18.4
million from Alpha's major shareholder, Sun Healthcare Inc. On
completion of the project early in 2000, the Sun facility is planned
to be repaid from proceeds of a capital raising'.

BT Alex. Brown acted as financial adviser and arranger for Alpha.

Mr Mark Paton, Chief Manager, Corporate Banking, ANZ Banking Group
said: "We are very pleased to be associated with this exciting new
development for Alpha. We believe that the private healthcare market
is entering a new dynamic phase and will be one of the major
investment opportunities in Australia over the next few years".

The site and the rights to develop the co-located hospital were
acquired when Alpha bought Health Care Corporation in August 1997.

Mr Hopper added: 'Considerable preparatory work has been done
already. We have appointed Mr Lindsay Short as Project Director for
the building and fit-out of the hospital'.

Mr Short has extensive experience in this sector having been the
Project Director for Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, the
extensions of the former Department of Veterans Affairs Hollywood
Hospital in Perth, and most recently, the North Shore Private
Hospital, co-located with the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.

We have appointed Fletcher Construction Australia as Project Manager
while HBO + EMTB is project architect. Both are highly experienced in
hospital design and construction.

'We are confident the hospital will be operational early in 2000. It
will have the benefit of an established referral base following the
transfer of the facilities and caseload from the nearby Charles
Wentworth Private Hospital, one of the hospitals acquired when Alpha
bought Health Care Corporation last year. Charles Wentworth will
change its strategic direction and be converted to Western Sydney's
first private rehabilitation facility drawing on Alpha's core
competency in this specialised area'.

'In addition to the Alpha Westmead Private Hospital, we have a number
of opportunities to acquire further healthcare businesses under
active consideration', said Mr Hopper.

Alpha's combined hospital operations presently comprise ten hospitals
with income sourced from surgical, rehabilitation, medical and
psychiatric services with total annual revenues in the order of $75
million.

Alpha also operates and owns several primary care general practice
centres, together with radiology, pathology and occupational
rehabilitation divisions with revenues in excess of $30 million per
annum.

Further enquiries to:

P Hopper 
MANAGING DIRECTOR 
ALPHA HEALTHCARE LIMITED 
Tel:(02)9247 8439 Fax: (02)9247 8128
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