Business Irish

Thursday 21 November 2019

CareChoice makes €4m loss after expansion

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John Mulligan

John Mulligan

CARECHOICE, the Irish nursing home chain that was acquired by French group Infravia Capital Partners in 2017, posted a €4.5m loss last year as it continued to invest in the business.

Revenue at the firm hit €39.5m in 2018, newly filed accounts show.

CareChoice was sold to Infravia by Emerald Investment Partners, which is based in London.

It had paid an estimated €33m for the business in 2014.

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The founders of CareChoice include its then CEO Paul Kingston, as well as Michael Lane and his family, who exited along with other investors in the 2014 deal.

Alan McIntosh founded Emerald, which also backed stock exchange-listed house builder Cairn Homes.

Mr Kingston was hired this year by Cork-based investment group BlackBee to lead the expansion of its nursing home venture, Aperee.

BlackBee pledged to raise €250m to fund the growth.

The accounts for CareChoice show that its 2018 revenue figure compares with €16.6m in 2017.

During 2018, the company bought the Marlay nursing home in south Dublin for €22.2m. That brought the number of beds operated by the group to 833, and its staff numbers to about 1,100.

The company now operates nine care homes, mainly in Cork and Dublin, and it has plans to open additional facilities.

Directors for the company noted that its 2018 loss was primarily a result of increased interest charges.

The accounts show that the net interest bill for the group soared to almost €5.9m last year, from €2.1m in 2017.

It received €33m in loans last year from its shareholders and directors.

CareChoice's total debt pile stood at €140.4m at the end of 2018, its accounts show.

The company refinanced some loans in February and May this year, extending the maturity on loans held with AIB and Bank of Ireland. Those loans total €50.7m.

Its loans from its shareholders amounted to just under €86m at the end of 2018.

The firm said that the amount of net cash it generated from its business last year was €5.4m, taking into account €2.7m of depreciation, and almost €1.7m of amortisation.

The net cash generated last year compared with €4.2m during 2017.

The Irish care home sector is seeing significant investment, on the back of an ageing population.

Next month, the most expensive care home ever built in Ireland - at a cost of €36m - is due to open in south Dublin's Foxrock.

The Four Ferns facility will cost residents between €1,315 and €1,850 a week, depending on the package of services they request.

Irish Independent

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