Care home operator Four Seasons plots £300m sale

A care home operator which once ranked among the largest in Britain is being put up for sale in a move expected to fetch about £300m.

Sky News has learnt that Four Seasons Health Care Group has appointed CBRE, the property agent, to oversee an auction in the coming months.

The process will be launched after a protracted period in which Four Seasons was reshaped and slimmed-down through a string of asset sales.

While far smaller than it was before the pandemic, the company still employs more than 4,000 people and operates more than 45 freehold care homes.

It looks after thousands of residents, and trades under both the Four Seasons and Brighterkind names.

Four Seasons is now run by Joe O’Connor, a restructuring professional and experienced care sector turnaround expert who was appointed as its chief executive in 2022.

Recently published quarterly results demonstrated the turnaround in its performance under Mr O’Connor.

Healthcare analysts said that based on its current financial performance the business was expected to be worth around £300m.

The business is expected to draw interest from a range of financial and industry bidders, property industry sources said on Thursday.

One financier said a recovery in healthcare asset valuations meant it was a logical time to run a formal sale process for the care home operator.

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Four Seasons’ parent company, Elli Finance, fell into administration in 2019, with Alvarez & Marsal appointed to oversee the insolvency.

It had been owned by Terra Firma Capital Partners, the private equity vehicle founded by financier Guy Hands, since 2012.

The care homes themselves have not been in insolvency proceedings at any point during the intervening five years, while its ratings awarded by the Care Quality Commission have consistently exceeded many industry rivals.

Terra Firma paid £825m for the business but Four Seasons’ £500m-plus debt pile had been the subject of protracted restructuring negotiations.

Four Seasons could not be reached for comment.

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