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Four Seasons care home operator on brink of administration

About 16,000 residents and 22,000 jobs at risk as rescue talks look likely to fail

Care homes operator Four Seasons, which looks after 16,000 elderly and vulnerable residents and employs 22,000 people, is reportedly on the verge of administration, with protracted financial rescue talks expected to end in failure.

More than a year after complex financial talks began between its US hedge fund lender H/2 Capital and its former private equity owner, Guy Hands’ Terra Firma, Four Seasons Health Care is thought to be close to appointing administrators.

Professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) has been lined up to handle the administration, according to Sky News, potentially the biggest financial failure in the care homes sector since Southern Cross collapsed in 2011.

Sources close to Four Seasons said the administration would allow the business to be sold and should not affect residents in the group’s 322 care homes.

“The point of this is to ensure a fully funded independent sale process to allow the group to emerge with a viable future where it is not saddled by the company’s historic debt obligations,” an insider told Sky News.

But the collapse will raise fresh questions about the financial health of Britain’s care home sector and the potential risks it poses to tens of thousands of residents.

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DylanThomas

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