McCarthy mulls debt

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The Independent Online

The board of retirement homes builder McCarthy & Stone will examine plans to pay off a big chunk of its debt this week.

The Bournemouth-based group has £500m of debt due to be paid back next year and came badly unstuck during the financial crisis due to this burden. The dominant player in its niche market, McCarthy & Stone was taken private by Sir Tom Hunter and Reuben brothers in 2006.

Now 25 per cent owned by Lloyds following a debt-for-equity swap, advisers from investment bank Moelis were asked to look at options.

This has led to speculation McCarthy & Stone could soon return to the London Stock Exchange, though it is thought Moelis has recommended clearing some debt first.

Last year, the company set up an advisory panel of professionals over the age of 50, which includes the former Conservative health minister Edwina Currie.