Monday 21 May 2018

Nursing home group Castlebeck has gone into administration

CASTLEBECK, a British company with strong links to some of Ireland's most famous investors, has gone into administration after failing to find a buyer.

Castlebeck ran a care home at the centre of a 2011 abuse scandal that made national headlines in the UK.

Investors or former investors in the failed company include former Kerry Group chief Denis Brosnan, race horse owner JP McManus, stud owner John Magnier and financier Dermot Desmond.

More than 200 people with learning disabilities or mental illnesses were patients or residents at 20 high-dependency units run by the company. Those units will remain open while administrators Grant Thornton tries to sell them off.

"A number of prospective purchasers have already shown their interest in acquiring Castlebeck operating units, which will continue to operate and trade normally while such sales are progressed and new owners for the operating units emerge," Grant Thornton's Daniel Smith said yesterday.

Castlebeck was roundly criticised in 2011 when a BBC investigation exposed systematic abuse of residents at a unit in Winterbourne View near Bristol.

Six former staff members were jailed and a further five given suspended sentences. Winterbourne View was later closed by the company and wide-ranging reforms and improvements were introduced.

Mr Brosnan's Swiss-based venture Lydian Capital was the majority-owner in Castlebeck Care Homes until yesterday's administration. Mr Brosnan said back in 2011 that he was shocked and appalled by what had happened.

While the home is largely owned through Lydian Capital, the deal was an arms-length financial investment for most of the Irish backers.

Irish Independent

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