EQT back with new, lower Metlifecare offer, three months after trying to scrap agreed NZ$1.46bn buyout
EQT has made a surprise return with a new, lower bid for New Zealand’s Metlifecare, three months after attempting to scrap its agreed NZ$1.46bn buyout of the business.
The private equity house had previously agreed a NZ$7 per share deal for the retirement village business in January through Asia Pacific Village Group (APVG), a company owned by the EQT Infrastructure IV fund.
EQT informed Metlifecare on April 7 that the Covid-19 crisis had triggered a ‘material adverse change’ clause – either reducing the company’s net tangible assets by at least $100m, or likely to reduce its underlying net profit by at least 10% in any of the next three financial years.
Metlifecare responded in May by asking the country’s high court to enforce EQT’s NZ$1.46bn buyout.
EQT has now returned with a NZ$1.28bn bid for the company, or NZ$6.00 per share.
Metlifecare chair Kim Ellis said, “We have always indicated that the board of Metlifecare is open to engaging on any reasonable alternative proposal.
“We welcome receipt of APVG’s NBIO and intend to canvass shareholders on whether they prefer this alternative.
“While there remain a number of issues to resolve and there is no guarantee we will be able to reach agreement, we look forward to productive discussions with APVG.”
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