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Union fears as equity firm buys care homes
10:30am Tuesday 1st May 2012 in News
UNION leaders are seeking urgent talks with the Government over moves by a private equity group to buy a troubled provider of care homes for the elderly.
Private Equity Group Terra Firma will pay £825 million for the Four Seasons Health Care, which owns six Oxfordshire homes.
They are The Albany Nursing Home and the Headington Care Home, both in Headington; the Triangle Nursing Home, Wheatley; Mill House Nursing Home, Witney; Longlands, Cassington, and The Crown Nursing Home in Harwell.
Four Seasons has 188 residents living in its homes in Oxfordshire and about 300 staff.
Before the new takeover deal, expected to be completed by July 16, Four Seasons had debts totalling £780m, payable in September. But under the deal all its debt liabilities will be discharged in full.
National Officer for the GMB union, Justin Bowden, said: “We are pleased about the intervention from Terra Firma because Four Seasons could not continue as it was — which was worrying for residents.
“But we need to see the detail. Residents need to know that the roofs over their heads are secure and that there will be no more closures.”
Four Seasons last year became the UK’s largest care provider after buying 140 homes from rival Southern Cross — which went into administration after being unable to service its debts.