views

Bridgepoint snaps up health and social care firm Care UK for £281m in cash

PRIVATE equity group Bridgepoint Capital yesterday unveiled a recommended cash bid for elderly and health care provider Care UK, valuing the company at £281m.

Bridgepoint, which launched the bid through newly-created vehicle Warwick Bidco, is offering 450p for each Care UK share, a 9.2 per cent premium to the share price at the close of the market on Tuesday.

Care’s current management team, led by chief executive Mike Parish, will continue to lead the business, investing around £1.8m in total into the Warwick Bidco group.

“In the current cycles, I can see strong advantages to be privately owned by a strategic investor such as Bridgepoint,” said Parish.

The upcoming general election, which must take place by June, is expected to put considerable pressure on healthcare spending and help outsourcing companies like Care UK.

Parish added that the group plans to focus on acquisitions in the social care and healthcare markets.

Bridgepoint said Care UK is a highly diversified business that could not realise its full growth potential as a publicly traded company due to funding limitations. The deal is expected to close by the end of April.

PATRICK ROBB & MARTIN SMITH
DIRECTORS AT INVESTEC

ADVISING Care UK on the buyout deal were Investec power duo Patrick Robb and Martin Smith, directors of corporate broking and corporate finance respectively.

Robb joined Investec from Merrill Lynch in 2001, while Smith arrived in the same year, moving over from the accountancy profession. The pair have worked together on recent deals such as Sportech’s US acquisition, while Robb also acted as broker on the Halfords acquisition of Nationwide Autocentres and the Lavendon Group fundraising.

On the legal side, Care received advice from law firm Hammonds, with relationship partner Trevor Ingle and corporate takeover partner Giles Distin leading the team.

Ingle, a member of the Hammonds board, joined the firm in 1998 after having qualified with Norton Rose, while Distin joined in 2002, having previously gained experience at Shoosmiths & Harrison and as assistant secretary to the Takeover Panel.

Bridgepoint, on the other side, received financial advice from NM Rothschild and legal counsel from Clifford Chance.