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NZ shares rise as Metlifecare jumps on new takeover bid

New Zealand shares rose, led by Metlifecare after the retirement village operator received a new takeover offer from its on-again, off-again suitor, EQT.

Monday, July 6th 2020, 6:09PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 97.51 points, or 0.8 percent, to 11,656.21. Within the index, 34 stocks rose, 8 fell, and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $111 million.

Metlifecare led the benchmark higher, jumping 10.3 percent to $5.76 after Swedish investor EQT made a new takeover bid at $6.00, a dollar less than the original offer but $1.78 more than Friday’s closing price of $5.22.

EQT's Asia Pacific Village Group was trying to back out of the deal and faced protracted litigation if Metlifecare shareholders voted to proceed with a claim at a special meeting this week. That's now been deferred, and Metlifecare's board will resume talks with EQT after receiving a new offer yesterday. Chair Kim Ellis said its largest single shareholder, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund at 19.9 percent, was supportive of the new offer.

“The fact that EQT has come back to the table suggests there is some recognition that the sector remains attractive in terms of longer-term growth,” said Shane Solly, a portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management.

Other retirement stocks also rallied on the day with the vote of confidence in Metlifecare reminding investors that retirement operators came out of lockdown relatively strongly, he said.

Oceania Healthcare rose 3.3 percent to 94 cents, Summerset Group advanced 2.7 percent to $6.77, Ryman Healthcare gained 1.5 percent at $13.10

Trading was generally quiet with an “information vacuum” as investors wait to see another tranche of domestic results from the June period and from the US reporting season.

“We are in this period of time where there is a bit of a gap in information, but there is certainly plenty of capital sitting on the side-lines waiting,” Solly said.

Some large firms also gained as investors reallocated their portfolios at the start of the quarter.

Contact Energy rose 2.7 percent to $6.88, Meridian Energy advanced 2.6 percent to $5.07 and Fletcher Building gained 2.3 percent to $3.59.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.9 percent to $35.15, while A2 Milk fell 1.1 percent to $20.90 having gained 8.7 percent across last week.

Retailer Kathmandu Holdings rose 2.5 percent to $1.23. Solly said investors were continuing to digest the group's “ripper result” last week which saw the share price run up and then gave a little bit back. The stock is up 8.9 percent this month.

Auckland International Airport dropped 1.4 percent to $6.39 and Air New Zealand fell 0.3 percent to $1.455. The spike of new covid-19 cases in the Australian state of Victoria has put the brakes on the prospect of a full trans-Tasman bubble, Solly said

Z Energy posted the day’s biggest decline, dropping 2.5 percent to $2.74.

Outside the benchmark index, cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge continued to rally, gaining 5.5 percent at 58 cents. On Friday, the company announced its Cxbladder cancer test had been approved for use by the US Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services which will bring in considerable amounts of revenue.

“The company can potentially keep supporting its growth from that cashflow,” Solly said.

Tags: Market Close

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BNZ - Classic - 2.55 2.69 ▼2.79
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Last updated: 31 July 2020 3:01pm

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