Four Seasons Health Care’s 111-home portfolio to be auctioned

Four Seasons care home

Cheshire-based Four Seasons Health Care’s portfolio is to be auctioned by specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co.

It has been instructed by the Four Seasons Health Care Group to sell a portfolio of 111 freehold care homes located across England, Scotland and Jersey, all trading under either the Four Seasons Health Care Group or brighterkind brands.

The Northern Irish element of the business is being handled separately.

The Wilmslow group collapsed into administraton in April, 2019, after struggling to restructure its debt pile of more than £500m.

Four Seasons appointed professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) to handle the administration, which it said would not affect its care arrangements or lead to the closure of any of its 322 homes.

At the time, the group served around 17,000 residents and employed 20,000 staff.

It is estimated that Four Seasons now employs around 10,000 staff and looks after approximately 6,000 residents.

The business, like many others in the sector, was heavily impacted by the effects of the pandemic and government-imposed lockdowns throughout 2020.

With a total of 6,054 bedrooms, the 111-home portfolio is well specified, with the majority of homes comprising more than 40 bedrooms, 80% of which have en-suite provision.

A significant proportion of the homes for sale are purpose built or have purpose built extensions, with almost half offering scope for expansion, subject to planning. Four Seasons Health Care Group has invested significantly in the estate over recent years and continues to do so in 2022.

Christie & Co said the homes in the portfolio are orientated towards the local authority/CCG funded market and benefit from excellent relationships with a wide pool of different funding authorities. It said they demonstrate good income growth and recovery from COVID-19, with increasing occupancy levels and strong average fee uplifts.

Geographically, the portfolio comprises: Eight homes in the South East, four homes in the South West, 11 homes in London, nine homes in the East of England, 15 homes in the East Midlands, six homes in the West Midlands, 12 homes in Yorkshire, 16 homes in the North East, 14 homes in the North West, 14 homes in Scotland, and two homes in the Channel Islands.

The launch of the sale process represents a key milestone in the group’s ongoing restructuring process.

Christie & Co said it expects the portfolio to be of interest to a range of buyers, including corporate buyers and investors, regional groups, and SME operators all of whom are looking for growth opportunities via acquisition.

Speaking on behalf of Four Seasons Health Care Group, Joe O’Connor, interim CEO of the group, said: “Our priority remains the continuity of care for all residents, and the group will work closely with Christie & Co, potential buyers, and other counterparties, as well as all relevant regulators, to ensure that the sales process and the transition of care homes to new ownership is seamless.”

The sale is being handled by Martin Gould and Michael Hodges at Christie & Co, who said: “We’re really proud to be part of this unique offering, one of the biggest of its kind, which comes at a time when there is significant investor and operator opportunity in the UK elderly care sector.

“The sale presents a chance for the new owner to work with the fantastic existing staff at Four Seasons Health Care Group and to invest and improve on these brilliant homes, all the while ensuring continuity of care.

“We anticipate strong interest from a wide range of prospective buyers.”