The $1.2 billion Metlifecare is to cease trading on the NZX and ASX today, which chief executive Glen Sowry said was an "important milestone".
After Swedish giant EQT's controversial $1.27b takeover, the business that first listed on the NZX in 1994 will be delisted from 5pm in New Zealand.
Takeover opponent Craig Priscott, whose business has 1000 shares, said this week he had withdrawn from battling the deal and had nothing further to say about it.
Shares on the NZX are trading today around $5.98, close to the $6 takeover price.
The takeover was opposed by the NZ Shareholders' Association, Matt Goodson of Salt Funds Management, Priscott and company chairman Kim Ellis. Their objections included the price, cut from an initial $7 pre-Covid
Kiwi businessman Cliff Cook founded the retirement giant, which has villages throughout New Zealand, but he is no longer involved, instead building retirement villages in London.
"Today is an important milestone for Metlifecare as this current phase of the company's history draws to a close with the last trading day on the NZX," the Newmarket-based Sowry said today.
"In recent years Metlifecare has grown substantially through a large merger and subsequent organic growth," he said.
Several new villages were under construction. Hospitals were built and operating and Metlifecare's reputation was growing, he said.
"This has been achieved with the support of our board and shareholders who are soon to leave the company, and I would like to thank them for their service and support."
Metlifecare had the opportunity to grow faster under EQT ownership out of the listed environment.
"There is significant untapped potential to invest in and enhance the performance of Metlifecare that we're looking forward to unleashing. Our focus on our residents will remain core throughout this next phase of the company's history," Sowry said.
But Goodson took a different view today.
"Companies come and companies go. That is capitalism. If the owners can get the development working well and the Reserve Bank keeps stoking the house price fires, then it will probably be offered back to the market at a multiple of the take-out price in a few years," Goodson predicted.
EQT had nothing to say today but might make an announcement in the next few days about a new board of directors.
Chairman Kim Ellis had nothing to say today either.
Metlifecare said in its annual result this year it had 220 units and rooms under construction, sales activity had been resilient before and after the Covid lockdowns and it had completed and opened new villages at Gulf Rise north of Auckland and Papamoa Beach.
Its new Fairway Gardens in Manukau with 288 places is due to be finished around 2022, and it has new places under construction at Hobsonville Pt's Orion Point and Edgewater Village in Pakuranga.
All up, the company has bright prospects, planning a pipeline of 1685 new units. It recorded an 11.7 per cent development margin in the latest year and has a 96 per cent occupancy of existing places.
Even though it made a $33.7m net after-tax loss for the 2020 year, that was largely due to writedowns in property values. The company recorded $74.8 million fair value drop in investment property in the latest year, compared to 2019's $53.9m gain.