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Four Seasons goes into administration

May 1, 2019

Four Seasons Health Care, the UK’s second biggest care home operator after Bupa, has gone into administration.

Two of the holding companies behind the firm appointed administrators on Tuesday after struggling to repay their debts.

Four Seasons said the move would not affect care arrangements or lead to the closure of any of its homes.

Group medical director Dr Claire Royston said the company’s new trading status would not change the way Four Seasons operates or how its homes are run, or prompt any change for residents, families, employees and suppliers.

“It marks the latest stage in the group’s restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process,” said Dr Royston.

The biggest care home group to have gone into administration since Southern Cross in 2011, Four Seasons has struggled with cuts to local authority care fees and rising costs, and has repeatedly warned about its long-term stability.

Four Seasons said it had appointed professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) to handle the administration. While the holding companies – Elli Finance (UK) and Elli Investments – are in administration, the operating companies that run Four Season homes are not.

The group said it had secured funding to ensure continuity of care while it seeks a new owner. Four Seasons, which has 322 residential and nursing care homes, has been struggling to restructure its debt pile of more than £500m.

Terra Firma Capital Partners, the private equity firm led by Guy Hands, bought the group in 2012 for £825m but has since seen a £450m writedown on its investment. It has also ceded control of the group to US hedge fund H/2 Capital Partners, which holds a large amount of its debt.

Most of Four Seasons’ operations are funded by the state, with about a fifth of them funded privately.

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