HC-One care home operator on the market

Mon, 21 May 2018 | BUSINESS SALE

HC-One, the UK’s largest care home provider, has been put up for sale with a price tag of GBP1bn.

Corporate finance firm Gleacher Shacklock has been taken on to oversee the sale, according to reports. The decision to put the firm on the market is a response to the growing appetite for these kinds of assets among investors. Recently, infrastructure funds have started to invest in the care home sector, partly due to the fact that demand is growing in line with an ageing population in the UK.

HC-One now runs some 369 registered care homes across the country and employs some 14,000 staff members.

The business has accumulated debt in the region of at least GBP500m by purchasing residences from rivals such as Meridiam Healthcare, Bupa and Helen McCardle Care. However, this has also allowed it to grow extremely quickly.

It is owned by several investors, such as Safanad, HCP, Court Cavendish and StepStone Real Estate Partners.

HC-One’s sale follows hot on the heels of the news that Care UK, which runs over 100 care homes in the UK and provides some major private services to the NHS, is also being sold.

HC-One was founded in 2011 by former Labour donor Chai Patel from the remains of the defunct Southern Cross business. Reports by the FT claim that Mr Patel is keen to retain a stake in the business.

Real estate experts said the deal could attract buyers looking to operate care homes but will also prove attractive to those simply looking for an investment opportunity whereby they buy the premises and lease them back to care home operators.


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