6 Nov 2020

Metlifecare to repay $6.8m from wage subsidy scheme

2:11 pm on 6 November 2020

Retirement village operator Metlifecare will repay $6.8 million it received from the government's wage subsidy scheme.

Close-up of New Zealand fifty dollar banknotes

EQT spokesperson Ken Wong says it is in the "spirit of the scheme" to return the subsidy. (File image). Photo: 123RF

Chair Paul McClintock said repaying the money was the right thing to do

"The whole Metlifecare team has done an extraordinary job in managing the Covid-19 crisis and should be commended for their efforts. Metlifecare maintained its high standards of care for residents whilst also supporting the safety and health of its staff throughout this challenging period.

"While Covid-19 has created significant and lasting economic uncertainty globally and in New Zealand, and Metlifecare did qualify for the scheme, EQT and the board has now determined that repaying the wage subsidy is the right thing to do."

Asia Pacific Village Group, backed by the Swedish private equity firm EQT, recently took over Metlifecare for $6 a share.

EQT spokesperson Ken Wong said it was in the "spirit of the scheme" to return the subsidy.

"EQT is very conscious this scheme was put in place by the government to support vulnerable businesses through a period of unprecedented uncertainty.

"Given the valuable work undertaken by all Metlifecare staff through the Covid crisis and the essential nature of all Metlifecare employees, EQT believes that it is in the spirit of the scheme to return the subsidy."

Metlifecare recently refreshed its board of directors, and delisted from the local stock exchange after the takeover.

It reported a loss of $33.7m for the year.

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