Glasgow based Simply UK moves up a gear in bid to become UK’s leading care home provider

Wood Hill House is now part of the Portland Group, launched by Simply UK

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SIMPLY UK has underlined its ambition to become the country’s largest care home provider with the launch of Portland Care Group and the acquisition of six care homes in the north of England.

Simply UK has invested quarter of a billion pounds in the last two years in care home acquisitions and new developments and aims to have 60 care homes and 4,000 beds under its ownership by 2026.

The latest deal to acquire the assets of Horizon Care Group was supported with funding from offshore funder Gazcob and French real estate investors Pierval Sante and includes homes in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

The company already own, develop and operate premium care homes for provider Morar Living, which has six five-star facilities between Inverness and Musselburgh, and has plans to open another two in Scotland, extend its reach into England with five new homes, and has started its first development in Ireland in a move which will open up the European market to the brand.

Horizon Care Group is well-established with 498 beds under its care in Sheffield, Pontefract and Worksop, and two development sites included in the deal are being appraised for future use.  All 511 Horizon staff, including the local management teams at each of the homes, will transition to the new entity which will recruit additional staff at it prepares for further growth.

Neil Dobbie, Land Director of Simply UK, said: “The launch of Portland Care Group and the acquisition of these six homes marks the start of an exciting new phase in our growth strategy and underlines our ambition to become the largest quality care provider in the UK.”

“Simply UK’s business plan will add between 800 to 1,000 beds every year to our portfolio and with excellent relationships with funders and confidence in the brand, we are confident that this is not overly ambitious.”

“We will grow the Portland Care Group and Morar Living brands in tandem, with a combination of strategic acquisitions of existing care providers, and developing new-build sites in areas where there is a clear demand for the highest quality of care.”

“Horizon was a well-respected care home provider and under the Portland brand there will be a seamless transition of customers and staff, with substantial funds available to improve the offering and to take it to another level. Working in partnership with the Care Quality Commission, our expertise, skills set and high standards, will ensure residents benefit from exceptional quality of care.”

Rob McDonald, Managing Director of Portland Care Group, said: “All of the care homes now under the Portland banner will benefit from a review of existing services and a general upgrade programme to improve the facilities.”

“We are delighted to have retained all the 500-plus skilled and committed staff, including the senior management teams in each home, ensuring there will be no discernible change in the relationships with residents or the standards of service provided.”

“As Portland Care Group continues to grow we will be looking to fill a variety of positions and to offer the high-level training and mentoring required for people interested in taking up rewarding careers in the care sector.”

Solicitors for Portland Care Group were: Steve Edgecombe, Partner, Edwin Truesdale, Legal Director DLA Piper Scotland LLP, Dean Peachy, Senior Associate, Harvey Clark and Kate Roden Associates DLA Piper UK LLP.

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