Metlifecare, the retirement village operator, sold its Oakwoods village in Nelson for $29 million to a syndicate of South Island investors.

The sale is in line with the company's portfolio rationalisation scheme and plan to focus on the North Island as part of its merger with Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care announced in July. The sale is only subject to procedural matters, with settlement is expected on November 30.

"As communicated to the market previously, it was important for Metlifecare to firstly reduce its debt by a significant amount - this sale achieves that objective," director, Alan Edwards said in a statement.

"Following settlement of this transaction we can shift our focus to the development of our existing greenfield and brownfield opportunities."


Oakwoods buyers include Steve Davis, the village's current manager who will continue to manage the village and head the syndicate following its sale.

Oakwoods is the second retirement village the Auckland-based company has sold. In September it sold its Ilam Park site in Christchurch to rival Bupa Care Services New Zealand for $9.4 million.

Metlifecare shares rose 1 per cent to $2.96 and have gained 30 per cent this year.