Care home operator expected to start auction process again

Four Seasons care home

Cheshire-based care home operator, Four Seasons Health Care Group, is to be auctioned.

Two years ago reported that the Wilmslow-based group was to be auctioned by specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co.

It was instructed by Four Seasons 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 was being handled separately.

Four Seasons, parent company, Elli Finance, collapsed into administraton in April, 2019, after struggling to restructure its debt pile of more than £500m.

The business 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 was estimated two years ago that Four Seasons employed around 10,000 staff and looked after approximately 6,000 residents.

Now, Sky News is reporting that Four Seasons has appointed property agent, CBRE, to oversee an auction of the business, which is expected to realise around £300m.

It says the group has been trimmed in the intervening two years through a string of asset sales. It is now estimated to employ more than 4,000 staff, serving in excess of 45 freehold care homes.

Joe O’Connor, a restructuring professional and experienced care sector turnaround expert, was appointed chief executive in 2022.

Four Seasons is expected to attract interest from financial and industry bidders, attracted by a recovery in healthcare asset valuations.

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