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Health Care REIT backs MBO of Willowbrook Healthcare

Willowbrook Healthcare has been acquired from Graphite Capital by its management team with the backing of Health Care REIT, for an undisclosed amount.

Established in October 2008, Willowbrook Healthcare operates under the Avery Healthcare brand name and comprises of 13 freehold homes and has a pipeline of further development sites.

Graphite Capital, the management team and a bank syndicate comprising of RBS, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank invested over £80 million in the business.

Willowbrook Healthcare's founding management team, led by John Strowbridge and Ian Matthews will continue to manage the company.

Commenting on the deal, Strowbridge said: “Graphite’s financial support and experience in providing equity to the elderly care sector has been invaluable in enabling us to establish our leading position as a provider of services to older people.”

Graphite Capital backed Strowbridge and Matthews in the establishment of two other care home groups: Avery Healthcare and Optimum Care.

In 2007, Graphite Capital sold 16 Avery Healthcare homes to the now defunct Southern Cross.

Optimum Care was sold to Four Seasons Health Care earlier this year.

Mark Hudson, partner at Graphite Capital (pictured), said: “Willowbrook, Optimum and Avery fitted perfectly with our strategy of investing in best-in-class businesses with strong growth potential. We were delighted to have contributed to their success and to have provided much needed funding for the development of new care homes in the UK.

“There is an ongoing need for investment in the broader healthcare sector, which we believe will continue to generate attractive opportunities for our funds.”

Health Care REIT announced its plan to acquire the Sunrise Senior Living estate in August 2012. The final value of the portfolio has been estimated at $3.2 billion.

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Posted on: 06/08/2013

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