Graphite Capital closes third healthcare exit with same management team

Private equity firm Graphite Capital has followed up on its recent investment in the Hawksmoor chain of restaurants by exiting its interest in Willowbrook Healthcare.

Care homer owner and manager Willowbrook Healthcare has teamed up with US investor Health Care REIT to acquire the company and sever ties with its private equity backer.

London-based firm Graphite Capital is selling its stake as part of the transaction, having first set up the Willowbrook company following the backing of the same management team through Avery Healthcare and Optimum Care.

Since its foundation in late 2008, Willowbrook has received upwards of £80 million from Graphite Capital, its management team and a Royal Bank of Scotland-led banking syndicate.

The business now has 13 freehold homes which hold 880 residents, and has a pipeline of further sties ready for development, it says.

John Stowbridge, managing director at Willwobrook, says that, since 2005, the company’s strategy has been to develop and manage a portfolio of care homes in the UK.

‘Graphite’s financial support and experience in providing equity to the elderly care sector have been invaluable in enabling us to establish our leading position as a provider of services to older people,’ he adds.

Graphite and Stowbridge’s collaboration, alongside Ian Matthews, began in 2005 when Avery Healthcare was set up.

Avery Healthcare was sold in June 2007, while Optimum Care was exited in April 2013.

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Mark Hudson, senior partner at Graphite, adds, ‘Optimum and Avery fitted perfectly with our strategy of investing in best-in-class businesses with strong growth potential.

‘There is an ongoing need for investemnt in the broader healthcare sector, which we believe will continue to generate attractive opportunities for our funds.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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