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Acurity boss Blair to leave after six years as CEO, after Medusa takeover

Monday 29th October 2012

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Acurity Health Group chief executive Andrew Blair will step down as the head of the private hospital operator once-known as Wakefield Health after six years in the top job and after the Stewart family and Royston Hospital Trust Board took control in a partial takeover last month.

Blair's tenure will officially end on March 31 next year to pursue new professional opportunities, the company said in a statement. His exit comes after the company's biggest shareholders pooled their investments into a new vehicle called Medusa to take majority ownership.

"Under Andrew's leadership the company has developed capacity to ensure it is at the forefront in terms of quality and value with the facilities and services it offers to the growing private health market," chairman Alan Isaac said. "He has contributed significantly to the growth of the group which has transformed from individual single site private hospitals in Wellington and Hastings to the highly respected national Acurity Health Group."

The move marks a changing of the guard at the company's top executive level with chief financial officer Bevan Miller resigning to take up a CFO role at NZX.

Under Blair's leadership Acurity has rebranded after stitching up several acquisitions, including a long-running effort to take over Norfolk Group, which owns 60 percent of the Grace Hospital in Tauranga, and buying a 30 percent stake in Endoscopy Auckland and Laparoscopy Auckland.

Acurity has begun searching for a new CEO immediately, and Blair will assist with the transition arrangements once someone has been appointed, it said.

The shares traded at $5.91 last week, below the $6 offer put up by Medusa and the $6.92 to $7.88 value range put on them by the independent adviser on the takeover. The stock has rallied 23 percent this year, and is rated a 'hold' by one analyst recommendation compiled by Reuters.

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