NZ's Metlifecare backs $1.43b buyout offer
New Zealand's Metlifecare Ltd has entered into an initial deal to be acquired for about $NZ1.49 billion ($A1.43 billion) by a fund managed by Swedish buyout firm EQT AB.
The retirement village operator said its shareholders would get $NZ7 per share under the agreement from Asia Pacific Village Group Ltd, which is ultimately owned by EQT.
The offer price represents a premium of 9.7 per cent to Metlifecare's closing price on December 20, before its stock was placed on a trading halt, and a 38 per cent premium to the closing price prior to the announcement of the initial offer on November 19.
EQT first approached Metlifecare with an offer of $NZ6.50 per share, which was rejected. Further discussions led to the raised offer, Metlifecare said.
The board backed the deal, adding that it had received strong support from a number of institutional shareholders.
In a separate statement, EQT said it had also entered into a voting deed with Metlifecare's largest shareholder, New Zealand Superannuation Fund Nominees Limited, to vote in favour of the deal.
NZSF holds about 19.9 per cent of the New Zealand company's shares.
The fund manager said a few other Metlifecare shareholders collectively representing around 22 per cent of the register had also indicated their intention to vote for the deal.
EQT added the transaction would be implemented by a scheme of arrangement, a court-supervised process in which shareholders meet to vote on the proposed deal.
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