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Ryman buys land in Melbourne for first Australian site

Tuesday 1st November 2011

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Ryman Healthcare, the retirement village operator, has bought land in Melbourne in its first step across the Tasman.

The Christchurch-based company plans to build a medium-density village in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs which will offer the full range of facilities including independent apartments, serviced apartments, a village centre and an aged care centre, Ryman said in a statement.

The acquisition will lift its landbank to more than 2,500 units and beds, though the company didn’t give a purchase price nor say how much land it bought.

“Our focus will be on successfully establishing this first village in Melbourne, and learning how to adapt our model to the Australian market, while maintaining our expansion in New Zealand,” chairman David Kerr said. “We have been investigating the Melbourne market for almost two years, and we identified an emerging need for both aged care and retirement living in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.”

In August, the company said it planned to build its 26th village in Auckland’s Howick, buying a 3.5 hectare site, and plans to open new villages in Gisborne, Tauranga and Christchurch in the coming year and wants to lift its build rate to an annual 550 units and beds.

The shares gained 0.3 percent to $2.71 in trading yesterday, and have climbed 17 percent this year.

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