Shareholders in Metlifecare have approved the retirement village operator's $216 million expansion plan, paving the way for a merger with two other businesses.

The resolution, put to shareholders today at a special meeting, was approved by a 79 per cent majority.

The deal will see the NZX-listed Metlifecare merge with two unlisted retirement village operators, Vision Senior Living (VSL) and Private Life Care (PLC), thereby creating a retirement village operator big enough to challenge market leader, Ryman Healthcare.

Last-minute changes were made to sweeten the deal for major institutional investors.


John Hawkins of the Shareholders Association said after the meeting that a third deal put forward just before the NZX opened this morning was a distinct improvement on the previous two.

John Phipps of AMP said he was happy with the results and there was no need for discussions because they had been held throughout the last few weeks.