The banks in control of scandal-hit care operator Castlebeck have instructed corporate finance house Grant Thornton to hold initial discussions concerning a possible sale of the business, HealthInvestor
It is believed that efforts are being made to engage potential buyers for the business, which was rocked last year when a BBC Panorama documentary filmed Castlebeck staff abusing patients.
The care home operator subsequently closed three units as commissioners’ confidence in the brand plummeted.
A subsequent review of the business by PwC recommended that Castlebeck’s management structure was completely overhauled and the size, location and function of each of its units reviewed.
In February, the company appointed Simon Harrison, previously of Care Principles, to focus on the day-to-day operational management of Castlebeck’s adult services.
One industry source said that the banks “were looking to find a single buyer for Castlebeck – but not many people would be interested in that”.
The source said that a number of firms would consider acquiring various elements of the company’s estate and services, but that potential buyers were wary of the negative associations of the Castlebeck brand.
Another source suggested that the banks were merely “testing the water” to see if it was possible at this stage to recoup funds through a sale. “The banks will be seeing if there is an exit there, but if there isn’t they’ll be in it for the long term.”
Castlebeck said in a statement that it did “not comment on market rumours”.
Sean Sullivan, executive chairman of Castlebeck Group, added: “This is a deep and continuing process and the success of changes we have made can be seen in the latest progress report published on our website.
“With supportive stakeholders we are continuing to reshape the business and fulfil our commitment to ensure that we can provide the highest standards of appropriate care for all our service users, their families and commissioners.”
(Pictured: Lee Reed, chief executive of Castlebeck)