Search

Care group with homes across Norfolk and Suffolk ‘heading for administration’

PUBLISHED: 08:27 09 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:00 09 December 2017

Several care homes in Norfolk and Suffolk are run by Four Seasons. Picture: Thinkstock.

Several care homes in Norfolk and Suffolk are run by Four Seasons. Picture: Thinkstock.

Thinkstock

Fears are rising that Four Seasons, Britain’s second biggest care homes operator, is heading for administration as hopes of a rescue deal for the debt-stricken group fade.

The company, owned by private equity firm Terra Firma, is struggling under £525m of debt and faces a critical interest payment on December 15.

However, Four Seasons is now likely to miss the payment, plunging into doubt the future of 17,000 elderly residents across 343 homes.

The group owns several homes in Norfolk and Suffolk, including St Mary’s and Eastlands in Crostwick and Taverham near Norwich, The Maltings in Fakenham, Courtenay House in Tittleshall, Melton House in Wymondham, Kingfisher House in Newmarket, North Court in Bury St Edmunds, and Catchpole Court in Sudbury.

The crisis comes amid a failure by Terra Firma and Four Seasons’ principal creditor, American hedge fund H/2 Capital Partners, to thrash out a deal that would avert disaster.

Terra Firma is urging H/2, run by Spencer Haber, to take full control of the group before it goes into administration as part of a debt restructuring.

But H/2 has rejected the proposal as the pair disagree over the terms of the restructure and over the ownership of 24 homes, which are subject to a court battle.

Should Four Seasons collapse into administration, it would be the biggest care homes failure since Southern Cross in 2011.

A spokesman for Terra Firma said: “There is no reason to put Four Seasons into administration.

“We call on H/2 Capital Partners, who have acquired their debt at a discount since 2015, to stand by its commitment to find a consensual outcome for the benefit of employees and residents and head off the risk of the obvious disruption that administration would trigger.”

The Press Association revealed earlier this week that H/2 could be in line to pocket up to £500m from the collapse of Four Seasons.

H/2 has said it stands ready to take control of the care homes group, with Margaret Ford, former chairwoman of rival Barchester, at the helm.

Four Seasons has been stung by a cut in local authority fees, rising costs and the introduction of the national living wage, and the group has continuously warned over its long-term stability.

Other news

The chief executive of a Southwold company on £170,000 a year has been banned from driving for six months with 21 penalty points for speeding after losing an ‘exceptional hardship’ plea.

12:21

Three secondary schools and a further education college have successfully secured a grant aimed at supporting pupils and encouraging them to take up engineering courses.

11:14

The director of an environmental services company has praised the fire service after a huge fire tore through one of its warehouses at an industrial estate.

10:45

Fire investigators begin work today to establish the cause of a huge blaze that tore through a warehouse at an industrial estate in North Walsham.

Most Read

Yesterday, 16:50

North Norfolk has been named as a hotspot for property price growth.

Read more
Norfolk
Friday, February 16, 2018

A play based on the life of a man who spearheaded change across Norfolk and stood up for ordinary people is set to be performed at the Wells Maltings.

Read more
Alderman Peel High School

The chief executive of a Southwold company on £170,000 a year has been banned from driving for six months with 21 penalty points for speeding after losing an ‘exceptional hardship’ plea.

Read more
UN Court
Friday, February 16, 2018

A housing organisation has said properties in one of Norfolk’s most popular seaside towns are “beyond the reach” of local families and affordable homes are being sold as holiday lets.

Read more
John Archibald
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tesco has launched an investigation into the conduct of two members of staff after a video of them engaging in a sex act in a Norfolk store went viral.

Read more
Tesco

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 5°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter