Saturday 18 November 2017

Magnier, McManus to sell €300m Castlebeck

Tom Lyons

Castlebeck, a care-home company backed by JP McManus and John Magnier, has been put up for sale. The company, which was accused last year of abuse by staff against patients in an explosive BBC Panorama documentary, has appointed Grant Thornton to advise it on its strategic options, including an outright sale or break-up.

Castlebeck was bought for €316m in 2006 by Lydian Capital Partners, an investment vehicle used by McManus, Magnier and others.

The credit crunch means the company, which employs 2,000 people on 20 sites, is unlikely to fetch the same valuation today as it did six years ago. RBS, AIB and Bank of Ireland are its principal bankers. Potential buyers include private equity-backed Priory, which previously looked at expanding into Ireland, and Guy Hands' Terra Firma investment company, which already has interests in the sector.

Panorama's 2011 programme broadcast footage of alleged bullying and assault by staff at Castlebeck's Winterbourne View care home. This led to arrests and some of its former staff are due to face criminal trials in August. Paul Brosnan, who was reportedly shocked by Panorama's report, stepped down as its chairman last year after launching an investigation into controls at care homes.

Castlebeck is entirely separate to Barchester, another care-home business in Ireland and the UK, which is backed by McManus and Magnier.

Sunday Indo Business

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