Care home group with facilities in Sheffield and Rotherham goes into administration

One of the biggest providers of care homes in the country, Four Seasons Health Care, which owns a large home in Kirkcaldy, has announced that it has entered administration.

Professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal has been appointed to handle the administration of two of the business's holding companies that carry its debt.

But the day-to-day operations at the 322 care homes run by the group will continue as normal while a buyer is sought, it is understood, with families, residents and employees unaffected.

First Southern Cross, then Allied Healthcare, now another major care home operator has gone into administration.

The announcement follows news that private equity firm Terra Firma, which owns the care home operator, had put the company up for sale to pay off debt owed to United States hedge fund controllers H/2 Capital Partners. Most of the debt is held by H2, which is run by Spencer Haber.

Lothian MSP, Miles Briggs, said: "Residents in the five Edinburgh care homes and their families will be very concerned about Four Seasons going into administration and what this presents for the future provision of the care homes".

The company blamed its woes on the low level of fees that councils were willing to pay and rising operating costs, including the introduction of the national living wage.

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"The key thing to stress is it doesn't prompt any change for the homes or the way they are run", an insider said, as the holding companies, rather the operating ones, were involved.

The UK-wide company made the announcement earlier today (Tuesday), with Dunlarg in Keady (main image) and Manor Hall in Portadown just two of its many care homes across Co Armagh and surrounding areas.

Richard Fleming, of A&M, said: "We are committed to ensuring the group delivers continuity of care as we work to undertake the independent sales process".

"The aim of the independent sales process is to achieve the highest or best offer for the group for the benefit of all stakeholders, to ensure continuity of care and to maximise value for creditors". "It marks the latest stage in the group's restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process". "The Group's operations are fundamentally strong and a successful sales process will enhance those operations' ability to thrive".

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue, whose constituency Shawcross Care Home is in, said: "This is worrying news for patients, staff and relatives of loved ones and demonstrates that social care funding is in crisis".

Unite has called for the 55 nursing homes in the region to be nationalised.

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