Tom Wildig, Palatine Private Equity
Tom Wildig, Palatine Private Equity

Palatine Private Equity has acquired a controlling stake in Routes Healthcare, a provider of specialist person-centred health and homecare services based in Northern England, from Key Capital Partners.

The deal – the terms of which were not disclosed – will see the mid-market buyout firm take control of Routes from Key Capital Partners, which invested in the company in 2016. Key Capital, along with Routes’ founder Andrew Healing, will retain a minority stake in the business.

Shawbrook Bank provided debt finance to support the transaction.

Headquartered in England’s Northwest, Routes operates 14 service centres and employs 120 operational and management staff, as well as 1,000 carers.

In response to the requirements of healthcare commissioners, the management team, led by Jackie Lindsay, has developed its complex care offering and focused on growing higher acuity services as well as providing vital additional homecare capacity throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

Tom Wildig, investment director at Palatine, said: “We have been hugely impressed with what Jackie and the team at Routes have achieved over the last two years and are excited to work with them to deliver their plan. The vastly experienced team, robust centralised processes, governance and infrastructure render it ideally suited to organic expansion through opening new sites as well as selected M&A.

“As NHS and local authority procurement of community and home-based services evolves, with the transition to integrated care systems, Routes’ ability to rapidly deliver flexible, scalable packages across the acuity spectrum makes it well-placed to continue on its rapid growth trajectory.

“As the leader in mid-market ESG investing, the business’ focus on the wellbeing and professional development of its workforce was also a major draw for us. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted both the vital role care workers play, and the lack of recognition much of their work receives. Routes’ investment in its people is not only the right thing to do, it secures a competitive advantage for the business by retaining a skilled, loyal workforce.”

Jackie Lindsay, chief executive of Routes Healthcare, added: “Both myself and the management team are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with Palatine to realise the next stages of our development plan.

“Palatine felt like a perfect fit for Routes from the very first meeting. We were immediately talking the same language; with our joint commitment to and understanding of the healthcare sector and passion for ESG. To find an investment partner with such naturally aligned values is fantastic.

“High-quality person-centric healthcare, enabling people to live the lives they want in the place they choose to be, is core to Routes values. This fresh partnership with Palatine will allow us to take the next steps along the route to delivering this vision.”

Palatine was advised by Clearwater International (corporate finance), Grant Thornton (debt advisory), KPMG (financial due diligence), Fluid IT (IT and operational DD), and Gately (legal). Connell Consulting provided vendor commercial due diligence and sell-side advice was provided by Grant Thornton (corporate finance) and Ward Hadaway (legal). Routes’ management team was advised by Park Place Corporate Finance.

Date published: June 23, 2021

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