Bridgepoint Capital, the UK mid-market private equity firm has led a £50m investment in Robinia, a provider of care services for people with learning difficulties in a deal that sees Bridgepoint take a majority stake in the business.
The Robinia management team, led by CEO Elizabeth Wagstaff, has invested £4.6m to take a significant minority stake in the company. The business had previously been funded exclusively with a debt and mezzanine package from Bank of Scotland. Bank of Scotland has provided acquisition debt for the latest transaction, as well as providing development capital for the company’s future growth.
Set up in 1995, Robinia operates a portfolio of 51 homes with a total of 426 beds located across the Midlands and the South of England. Robinia provides residential and nursing care services for residents with learning disabilities.
There are currently 62,000 residential care beds in the UK provided by a combination of local authorities, the NHS, charitable organisations and private operators such as Robinia, which has already led to a shortfall in available beds, Bridgepoint said in a statement. “There is a clear opportunity for Robinia to put further equity capital to work to address the supply/demand imbalance apparent in the UK and to consolidate its position in what is still a highly fragmented market,” said Martin Dunn, director at Bridgepoint in London.
The deal is the fourth transaction in the healthcare sector in as many years for Bridgepoint. In 2001, the firm backed a E178m MBO at Alliance Medical, a private operator of diagnostic imaging equipment. In 1999, the firm backed a PTP of Match Group, a provider of flexible staffing to the healthcare sector. It also sold Healthcall, a provider of primary healthcare services to Nestor Healthcare, itself the current subject of private equity interest, in a deal worth £110m in August 2001.