Kurt Geiger backer Graphite Capital sells Optimum Care to Terra Firma business

The private equity firm behind investments in Wagamama and Paperchase has sold its stake in Optimum Care through a trade sale.

Graphite Capital has exited its majority interest in Optimum Care, but will remain actively engaged with the health and care sector.

The undisclosed sale of the homes and care to elderly residents business to Terra Firma portfolio company Four Seasons Health Care has been made six years after Graphite helped establish Optimum Care.

Back in 2007, Graphite provided £26 million of development capital to Optimum, alongside £70 million of bank debt, to enable it to build and acquire 17 care homes. Optimum was created as a successor company to previous Graphite investment, Avery Healthcare.

Mid-market firm Graphite backed Avery Healthcare in 2005 and, in 2007, Avery’s mature homes were sold for £96.5 million to Southern Cross, returning 2.3x Graphite’s investment and an IRR of 92 per cent.

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John Strowbridge, managing director at Optimum, says, ‘Graphite have been tremendously supportive of Optimum over the past six years, and their knowledge and understanding of the care homes sector has been of huge value to us as we developed and acquired a significant number of new homes in a short space of time.’

Graphite says that despite the exit it remains ‘committed’ to the sector through its continuing investment in Willowbrook Healthcare, a sister company to Optimum at a ‘less mature stage’ of development.

Mark Hudson, senior partner at Graphite, comments, ‘The combination of development capital provided by Graphite and the vision and experience of the founders enabled Optimum to grow rapidly.

‘Optimum is very successful and we believe it will continue to flourish under Four Seasons’ ownership.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

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

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