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Metlifecare investigates building issues with Auckland Links

Metlifecare investigates building problems with Auckland Links Apartment complex

By Tina Morrison

Oct. 15 (BusinessDesk) – Metlifecare, New Zealand’s second-largest listed retirement village operator, is investigating building problems with an Auckland village it acquired as part of a merger with Private Life Care Holdings last year.

The Auckland-based company flagged the building issue at its Links Apartments at Hibiscus Coast Village in its prospectus last week for listing on the Australian stock exchange, saying the cost of remedial work is currently unknown.

“There is an area in the basement which was not designed exactly as it might have been using best practice and we just need to understand what the implications are,” said managing director Alan Edwards. “We are probably four to six weeks away from having a much clearer understanding of what is going on.”

Metflifecare acquired the village, adjacent to a golf course, as part of its merger last year with Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care which aimed to increase its portfolio and focus on the premium Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty regions.

The Links apartment complex is spread over four floors with access-controlled basement parking spaces and lift access to each apartment floor. The development of 71 apartment units took 19 months and was worth $22.5 million, according to Haydn & Rollett Construction. Maltbys, a quantity surveyor, puts the cost of the complex at $24 million, including extensions and refurbishments to the existing village community centre building and says it was completed in April 2008.

The building issues are sensitive and subject to a claims process, said Metlifecare’s Edwards.

Shares in Metlifecare gained 0.3 percent to $3.27, valuing the company at $683 million.


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