Andrew McLachlan, CEO of Pembury Lifestyle Group. Picture: BDTV
Andrew McLachlan, CEO of Pembury Lifestyle Group. Picture: BDTV

Pembury Lifestyle Group, whose auditors raised questions about its survival in May, says it will offload its retirement villages business so it can focus on private education.

In early May, the group’s delayed financial results for the year to December showed a net loss of R40.7m. Its current liabilities of R57.2m exceeded its current assets of R5.3m, said its auditor, Moore Stephens FRRS.

Moore Stephens said at the time “a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the group and company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

“These matters further indicate that the group and company might be unable to realise their assets and discharge their liabilities in the normal course of business,” it said.

On Thursday, Pembury said that following feedback from shareholders and potential funders, it had decided to walk away from the retirement villages market.

“Despite a recent turnaround in the remaining villages following the recent restructure, the board has taken a decision that the retirement villages segment does not fit with the long-term strategy of the group — to focus on growing and providing affordable, quality, private education,” the company said.

The board, led by CEO Andrew McLachlan, was “evaluating various options to dispose of the individual villages”.

It may sell estates back to the original seller, Pembury Villages, it said.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za