Concerns grow about Hove care home owner’s finances

Posted On 06 Nov 2017 at 10:17 pm

Concerns are growing about the finances of Britain’s biggest care home owner, Four Seasons, which runs Bon Accord, in New Church Road, Hove.

Earlier this year it closed Dane House, in Dyke Road Avenue, Brighton, when 22 residents had to find somewhere new to live.

And Bon Accord was given the worst rating – inadequate – after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the sector’s official watchdog.

Four Seasons Health Care (FSHC) is owned by the private equity firm Terra Firma which has announced a financial restructuring to help keep the business afloat.

According to City AM, the group said last year that its “capital structure is not appropriate for the long-term stability and requirements of the business”.

Terra Firma – run by the multimillionaire investor Guy Hands – is trying to manage the care home group’s high level of debt.

City AM said that Terra Firma planned to contribute £136 million to the restructuring, in the form of 24 care homes.

This is on top of the £350 million equity that it ploughed in when it bought Four Seasons for about £825 million.

The newspaper quoted Justin King, Terra Firma’s vice-chairman, as saying: “We bought FSHC in 2012 with a clear plan that, by reducing the debt and injecting £350 million of equity, it would become a viable business.

“The operational turnaround has made good progress and, despite the challenging external environment, we still believe this business has a great deal of potential.”

The CQC was quoted as saying that it was continuing to monitor Four Seasons closely but had no reason to believe that care provision from the business would “adversely change”.

According to City AM, Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: “The announcement today will I am sure provoke some anxiety but is an important step in securing the long-term financial future of this company.”

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