8 May 2012

Listed company set to dominate rest home sector

6:30 am on 8 May 2012

Metlifecare looks set to become the nation's biggest operator of rest homes if it wins approval for a planned takeover of two rival retirement village operators, which it says will "rebalance" its own portfolio.

Metlifecare says it will acquire the unlisted Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care by issuing shares worth about $113 million, while its largest shareholder, Retirement Villages, sells down its stake to retail investors.

Retirement Villages would to end up with a stake below 50%.

Regulatory approval - including from the Overseas Investment Office - and from existing shareholders will be required for the takeover, which Metlifecare's chief executive Alan Edwards says will improve the company's chance of future growth.

Assets and operations of the three companies complement each other, Mr Edwards says.

"Metlifecare is a very strong operator and has a full continuum of care; Vision Senior living has a reputation as a strong developer - they have developed their entire portfolio over the past 10 years," he says.

"We put those together with Metlifecare and Private Life Care's strong, reliable cashflows, and the end result is a rebalanced portfolio within Metlifecare, with a stronger focus on future development".