In a deal worth in excess of £100m, LNT Group (LNT) has sold the majority of its subsidiary, Ideal Carehomes’ portfolio to Anchor.
LNT is owned by serial entrepreneur Lawrence Tomlinson, who previously advised the Coalition in his role as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The savvy entrepreneur has continued to demonstrate his business acumen through the continued success of his far-sighted growth plans.
Contrary to the widely held view of the social care market, this deal is a clear example of the strength of the high quality residential care offer. The deal is considered to be the biggest of its type since the financial crisis in 2008. Reflecting on the market condition, Richard Lunn, Head of Care at Christie + Co said, “The deal demonstrates that whilst the overall care sector is facing challenges, including the national living wage, there is still much appetite within the sector for high quality future-proof residential homes.”
Tomlinson added: “I have long said that the future of the social care market is in capital investment in quality assets as this benefits residents, local authorities and providers alike. We need to ensure appropriate provision is in place to meet the growing demographic demand and expectations of the next generation.”
Anchor, who bought 24 care homes from LNT, is one of England’s largest not for profit care providers and has a reputation for excellence in the elderly care sector. Having already bought two turn of key homes from LNT earlier this year, this transaction will provide a further total of 1,317 en-suite rooms for older people, including older people with dementia to the expanding Anchor portfolio.
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Anchor Chief Executive Jane Ashcroft said: “This deal represents significant growth for Anchor, in line with our business plan. It means we can provide happy living to many more older people. We are committed to providing a choice of great places and ways to live and are really pleased to be welcoming new residents and colleagues to the Anchor family.”
All the homes being purchased are freehold and were built within the last five years to the latest dementia design specifications to enable the efficient delivery of quality care.
Commenting on the partnership with Anchor, Lawrence Tomlinson said: “It is a pleasure to work with Anchor especially as they share many of our core values. We had not planned to sell these homes but when the opportunity arose, I knew it was a perfect fit for all parties and would enable us to continue to grow our relationship with Anchor.”
Following the deal’s completion, LNT will continue to operate 16 care homes under the Ideal Carehomes’ brand. Given the high quality of their care homes’ built environment and care ethos, Ideal Carehomes has always attracted private residents and achieved outstanding occupancy rates across their homes. Since being founded in 2009, the care home provider grew at an impressive rate with 41 homes in operation ahead of the deal with Anchor. Ideal Carehomes now intend to spend time developing the remaining 16 care homes as a family business, continually reviewing and improving their offer to residents, with no immediate plans for further growth. Tomlinson wants to retain concentration on ensuring Ideal Carehomes continues to innovate as market leader in quality care.
His plans for the LNT Group focuses on the development of turn key care homes on behalf of third parties. With demand from providers for state-of-the-art assets continuing to grow exponentially, LNT already have a full pipeline of sites in development across the UK and are seeking to secure more land, particularly in the South.