Experience ensures care homes sales success | 01 May 08

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has helped a North care home group to successfully conclude a major raft of deals with the biggest operator in the business.

The Newcastle-based firm’s corporate finance team has advised long-standing client Executive Care Group on the sale of 16 homes across the UK to Britain’s largest care home group Southern Cross.

The disposals, which took place over the past 12 months, saw stock market-listed Southern Cross acquire a total of 878 beds from Executive Care Group to add to its extensive portfolio of homes across the country.

Ward Hadaway partner and head of corporate finance, Martin Hulls, led the firm’s teams on the Executive Care Group deals.

Martin said: “This was a major series of disposals in a sector which has seen rapid consolidation in recent times.

“It was essential for us to ensure the deals were carried out in a timely fashion, which we were able to achieve by deploying a team of lawyers experienced in this particular sector.

“We are pleased that our work has ensured a smooth transition to new ownership for the care homes and their residents as well as a good return for Executive Care Group on its investment and hard work over many years.”

The homes sold were located in both England and Scotland and included a number of homes from across the North-East.

As well as advising Executive Care Group on the sale of 16 homes, Ward Hadaway has also helped the group to acquire various new trading homes and development sites during the course of the past year.

Jennifer Houghton, Chief Executive of Executive Care Group, said: “Ward Hadaway have advised the group for a number of years in relation to all aspects of our business and this in-depth knowledge assisted greatly in our recent dealings with Southern Cross.

“We are now looking forward to a further period of expansion and earlier this month completed the acquisition of a company in Scotland, which adds further capacity to our operations in this region.”

Ward Hadaway racked up a record deals year during 2007, working on more than 100 deals worth a total of £843m.