New Auckland site for Summerset

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 09:14 21/11/2012

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Summerset, the retirement care company which floated last year, is to ramp up its build rate as it announces another new Auckland site.

The Wellington-headquartered group said it had bought a new 3.8 hectare site at Ellerslie, which will become its 19th village. It is the second site Summerset has bought in New Zealand’s largest city since it floated on the NZX in November.

“Summerset recognises the Auckland region is growing rapidly in terms of both overall population and people aged over 65,” chief executive Norah Barlow said in a statement.

“Summerset has its sights set on Auckland. This land in Ellerslie is an opportunity for us to provide Auckland with another high quality, modern Summerset retirement village.’’

The announcement came as Summerset laid out plans to speed up its development. In last year’s prospectus the company said it intended to build 155 units in the 2012 financial year, rising to 250 a year by 2015.

Today Barlow said the company would build 200 units in 2013, rising to 300 a year by 2015. Currently the company has 1554 units.

“Further announcements are likely in the new year regarding the commencement of building at existing sites as well as the acquisition of new sites,” Barlow said.

To help fund the development Summerset has arranged debt facilities of $180 million, an increase of $30m. The company was not seeking new capital from investors.

Shares in Summerset, which floated at $1.40, hit a record high of $2.04 in late October and closed at $1.97 last night.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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