UPDATE 1-NZ’s Metlifecare notified of buyer’s intention to terminate takeover bid

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April 8 (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Metlifecare on Wednesday said Swedish private equity firm EQT AB has made known its intention to terminate its buyout offer in 10 business days, citing potential impact from the coronavirus pandemic on Metlifecare.

Asia Pacific Village Group Ltd (APVG), a unit of EQT, in December had sweetened its bid for the retirement village operator to NZ$1.49 billion, at NZ$7 per share, NZ$0.50 richer than its earlier bid.

APVG, in a notice to the New Zealand firm, said the pandemic triggered the Material Adverse Change clause under the companies’ agreement because it has reduced or could reduce Metlifecare’s tangible assets and could reduce its underlying net profit by at least 10% in fiscal year 2020, and/or in the following two years, from what it was expected to be.

Metlifecare in March had confirmed that the scheme implementation agreement (SIA) contained limited termination events, and stated that the Material Adverse Change termination event definition “has high financial materiality thresholds.”

Metlifecare on Wednesday stated, “Its Initial view is that the assertions are without substance and that APVG does not have a lawful basis to terminate the SIA.”

The scheme was scheduled to be presented for shareholder approval on April 29, with implementation expected in May.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru
Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler

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