Metlifecare sells Nelson village

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 14:26 17/10/2012

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Listed retirement village operator Metlifecare has sold a Nelson village to South Island investors for $29 million.

Metlifecare announced the sale of the Oakwoods village to a syndicate of South Island investors including the village manager Steve Davis.

In September Metlifecare announced the sale of its Ilam Park, Christchurch site to Bupa Care Services New Zealand for $9.4m.

The sales are in line with Metlifecare's portfolio rationalisation announced as part of the company's merger with Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care in July.

Metlifecare shareholders approved an all-scrip acquisition of Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care Holdings worth $87.3m.

The deal has made Metlifecare one of the nation's biggest private retirement village firms. It competes against the largest, Ryman Healthcare, which is also listed on the NZX.

Metlifecare managing director Alan Edwards said in terms of the sales it was important for Metlifecare to firstly reduce its debt by a significant amount.

He has previously said Metlifecare's emphasis was on the premium Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty markets and it had some greenfield and brownfield opportunities in those areas.

"This sale achieves that objective. Following settlement of this transaction we can shift our focus to the development of our existing greenfield and brownfield opportunities," he said today.

Davis will continue in his role as the village manager and will take on the additional responsibilities of being a syndicate manager following the sale.

"We are pleased that Mr Davis will remain with the village and we are confident that he will receive the full support of his staff at the village and that the residents will continue to receive excellent service going forward," Edwards said.

The sale is conditional on satisfaction of procedural matters. Settlement is expected on November 30.

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