Mitie has spent £110.8m buying one of Britain's biggest home care businesses, Enara, which the outsourcing group's chief executive, Ruby McGregor Smith, said would help it expand into the growing healthcare market.
Enara employs 6,000 carers, who visit the elderly to help them dress, wash and get in and out of bed, as well as providing respite care.
The Surrey-based company is the fourth-largest home care services group in the UK, and Mitie – which bought the business from the private equity house August – said it would provide a "scalable platform to compete in the growing outsourced health and social care sector".
The business earns its revenues, which are expected to hit £93m in the current year to April, from local authorities, the NHS and direct from private customers.
Ms McGregor Smith said: "This provides a platform to increase our healthcare offering in the UK.
"Care is a growth market and the ageing population and budgetary pressure from local authorities indicates that more support will be needed.
"The care market is very fragmented, but it's growing and the community care market is a huge opportunity for us."
Mitie has set up an advisory board, including Enara's managing director, "to develop the strategic direction of its healthcare offering".
The acquisition was funded by new bridge debt facilities of £150m.