Goldsborough plans leasing deals: Healthcare group will get pounds 30m new funds from flotation

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GOLDSBOROUGH Healthcare, the nursing home, domestic care and private hospitals group, is likely to enter into leasing deals to fund expansion after its planned pounds 75m market flotation in March.

Graham Smith, chief executive, played down fears yesterday that Goldsborough's balance sheet would restrict its ambitions. The company, which will receive around pounds 30m of new funds within a pounds 60m share offering, will still have net debt of about pounds 8m.

'We will have sufficient financial resources to develop all three of our businesses. Last year we added 370 nursing home beds and should be able to keep this up, but we are looking at leasing premises.'

Goldsborough's pathfinder prospectus shows that it moved from pre-tax losses of pounds 5m to a pounds 2.3m profit in the year to 3 October.

The previous year's loss included a pounds 5.2m deficit from discontinued operations, largely stemming from an ill-fated development of close care apartments, which the company has now largely sold.

Goldsborough, the seventh largest UK nursing home operator with 1,240 beds, is keen to develop its non-nursing home business - home care and private hospitals - unlike other quoted companies that are largely focused on homes.

'Diversity is a strength of the company,' Mr Smith said. He said that Goldsborough's three activities were linked together as the same patients could potentially make use of all the services.

Goldsborough, in which leisure group Kunick will sell its 50 per cent stake on flotation, said that the first quarter of this financial year had started well, with 95 per cent occupancy in care homes and a 29 per cent increase in domestic care hours.

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