Four Seasons: Care home operator goes into administration, raising fears for elderly residents

Collapse is the biggest care homes failure since Southern Cross went bust in 2011

Four seasons care falls into administration

Care homes operator Four Seasons Health Care has collapsed into administration, raising fears for thousands of elderly residents.

Four Seasons, which houses 22,000 people in 322 homes, insisted residents would be unaffected by the move.

The collapse is the biggest care homes failure since Southern Cross went bust in 2011.

Group medical director Dr Claire Royston said: "Today's news does not change the way we operate or how our homes are run or prompt any change for residents, families, employees and indeed suppliers.

"It marks the latest stage in the group's restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process."

Four Seasons has been hit by rising costs and deep cuts to the fees local authorities pay care homes.

The GMB union said the government needed to step in urgently to reassure Four Seasons staff and residents.

Rehana Azam, GMB national secretary, said: "The possible collapse of Four Seasons shows our care system is in crisis, it is crumbling beneath us because the funding isn't there."

“Lack of funding in the care sector is putting the profession - and all of our futures – in serious danger."

Insolvency specialists Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) will carry out the administration process which comes after an attempted sale was aborted. A&M will now attempt to sell the group out of administration.

Late last year, US hedge fund H2 Capital Partners, which effectively controls Four Seasons, ordered a sale of the crisis-hit company, which is struggling under a £525m debt mountain. The bulk of the debt is held by H2, which is run by Spencer Haber.

Only weeks ago, Four Seasons insisted that it had “sufficient operating liquidity” to be able to complete the sale process.

Ms Royston said: “Our priority remains to deliver consistently good care. It marks the latest stage in the group's restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process.”

But the failure of Four Seasons caps a sorry saga for the group, which had been owned by Guy Hands' private equity vehicle Terra Firma.

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 group has continued to improve its quality ratings across their portfolio of homes and hospitals.

“The group's operations are fundamentally strong and a successful sales process will enhance those operations' ability to thrive.”

Additional reporting by agencies

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in