There is a story about the care home sector that the Disclosure team might examine but won’t.
Robert Kilgour founded the Four Seasons Care Homes.The path of the company (“troubled” would be putting it mildly) can be seen here, on the link below. Cash cow might be a better description. It is not a path that is untypical among care homes and their operators. Note the names. They crop up in different settings.
First, how does the sector look now.
“The rising cost of PPE and extra staffing to cover for self-isolating workers, combined with continuously falling occupancy rates, are pushing the sector into deep financial hardship….
…Besides the lack of funding, offshore owners and investors can cash out with short-term profits, which has pushed many care homes to the brink of financial collapse. A report published in November 2019 by the Centre for Health and Public Interest (CHPI), an independent think tank in London, revealed that the 26 largest providers of care home services in the UK – including HC-One, Four Seasons Health Care, Barchester Healthcare and Care UK – pocket around £1.5bn from an annual revenue of £15bn for lease agreements, dividends and debt repayments. These businesses need profit margins of at least 12 per cent to be able to repay their debt, before reinvesting in staffing and the running of their homes, which could be unrealistic in a sector that operates on thin profit margins….
….They need at least 80 per cent of beds to be full to
remain viable, and even a small drop in occupancy rates can hurt their earnings. Four Seasons Health Care, the second-largest provider in the UK, said its profits had been badly hit by a two per cent decline in occupancy rates caused by a rise in elderly deaths during the 2017 winter flu season. The provider, which cares for more than 10,000 people in 190 homes, has been struggling ever since. In April 2019, it was the last of the “big four” providers to be offered up for sale. With its £735m debt pile, Four Seasons is far from the only provider at risk of going bust without help from lenders….
….Nick Hood, a business risk adviser, says one in three care home operators could fail in the next three years. He perused the latest set of published accounts for 7,203 operators registered at Companies House and found that 777 of them were technically insolvent with a total value of £1.6bn in negative equity. And to fund their losses, the 7,203 operators have borrowed £6.4bn between them – a figure that has been rising rapidly since the sector was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Below is the link to the Wiki entry descibing Four Season Care Homes. It looks an unsustainable business model. Perhaps that is what is troubling Mr Kilgour though he has no connection now with Four Seasons?