10th March, 2006

Qualcare Acquires Presbyterian Support East Coast Aged Care Homes

Qualcare Group, one of New Zealand's leading aged care providers, and social service agency Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC) have signed an agreement for Qualcare to acquire six residential facilities owned and operated by PSEC in the Hawke's Bay and Gisborne area, for $21 million.

"We are committed to providing a high quality of residential care for elderly in their own communities and are pleased to extend this to the PSEC facilities," said Qualcare CEO and founder Greg Tomlinson.

The former PSEC homes comprise facilities in six locations; Napier, Hastings, Dannevirke, Waipukerau, Havelock North and Gisborne, with a total of 331 rest home and hospital beds, and 63 independent living units. Following the acquisition Qualcare will own 1300 rest home and hospital beds and 535 units located in 22 facilities throughout New Zealand.

"We have an excellent relationship with Presbyterian Support in a number of centres throughout New Zealand, having previously acquired facilities from Presbyterian Support in the Auckland and Upper South Island regions," said Mr Tomlinson. "We understand the needs of the staff and residents at the facilities being acquired and will be maintaining existing staff terms and conditions, as well as the special quality of services such as chaplaincy and links to the heritage of community input through the protection of memorial names."

"The PSEC Board is pleased it has been able to meet its social objectives by selling to a quality aged care operator," said Shaun Robinson, CEO of PSEC. "While PSEC is sad that our direct link to the aged care facilities is going, the Board is positive about the future. We see our new role as working closely with residential care providers such as Qualcare, while we develop complementary services in the community. Overall, older people will benefit from this sale."

Ironbridge, a leading provider of private equity for growth businesses in Australasia, invested in Qualcare late last year, alongside existing management. "The acquisition of the six PSEC facilities is consistent with Qualcare's growth strategy and provides the company with a presence in the East Coast of the North Island, an increasingly popular retirement destination," said Kerry McIntosh of Ironbridge.

For further information please contact:
Greg Tomlinson CEO, Qualcare 021-464-231
Kerry McIntosh, Ironbridge 09-363-2972
Shaun Robinson, CEO, Presbyterian Support East Coast 0274-446-382
David Porter, Consultus 0275-917-050


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