A banking syndicate led by Royal Bank of Scotland as well as Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland backed the management team for £30 million, while mid-market private equity house Graphite Capital provided £23 million.
Willowbrook is a new company that will offer specialist residential care for the elderly. It has been formed in partnership with serial entrepreneurs John Strowbridge, Ian Matthews and Roger Storey.
Strowbridge said: “We believe that current market conditions will provide opportunities to make selective acquisitions alongside our core strategy of building and developing new care homes on prime sites.”
In the past 15 years, Graphite has invested in six care home businesses, all of which grew through developments and bolt-on acquisitions. Previous investments included Optimum Care, which currently has five homes and a further nine homes under development, and Avery Healthcare, which was sold to Southern Cross last year for £96.5 million.
Optimum and Willowbrook will trade under the Avery name, which was retained following the sale to Southern Cross last year.