The owner of a care home in Hove is a step closer to going bust, according to the financial press.
Four Seasons, Britain’s biggest care home operator, runs Bon Accord, in New Church Road, Hove.
The company is in dispute with its main creditor, H/2 Capital Partners, the American hedge fund.
Four Seasons owes about £525 million and has said that it may not be able to make a £26 million interest payment which is due on Friday 15 December.
It is taking the dispute – over the ownership of a tranche of care homes – to court but the business could collapse in the meantime, commentators warned.
The hedge fund said that it wanted to agree a restructuring plan but had not received any response from Four Seasons.
The care home operator is owned by Terra Firma, the investment business run by the multi-millionaire investor Guy Hands.
Earlier this year it closed Dane House, in Dyke Road Avenue, Brighton.
And an inspection by the official watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), resulted in Bon Accord being rated inadequate.
The home is in “special measures” – that is, under closer than usual scrutiny – and was reinspected in the summer. Despite some improvements it remains inadequate, according to the CQC.
Brighton and Hove City Council has been in touch with Bon Accord during the year.
It may end up having to find new places for more than two dozen Bon Accord residents, having similarly helped half of the 22 Dane House residents during its closure.
The financial threat to Four Seasons comes after the collapse of Southern Cross, the previous biggest care home operator, just over four years ago.
Southern Cross also had huge levels of borrowing which proved to be ultimately unsustainable.