Four Seasons Health Care



Four Seasons Health Care Group (Four Seasons) is the UK’s largest independent elderly and specialist care provider. The Group is run as three separate businesses: Four Seasons Health Care (FSHC), which provides care services with a particular focus on dementia; brighterkind, which focuses on private residential and nursing care; and The Huntercombe Group (THG), which provides specialised services in mental health, brain injury and neurodisability.


Investment strategy

Asset backed: Four Seasons has a strong asset base, owning many of the facilities it operates, which limits its exposure to rental costs.

Fundamental change: Four Seasons represented a compelling opportunity to acquire a stalled, ex-growth business which has a strong position within a changing industry. Demand for care is expected to grow over the long term, driven by an ageing population in the UK and associated public responsibilities towards the elderly and disabled.

The care industry is undergoing a period of transition, with financial and regulatory pressures on operators, coupled with a highly fragmented market structure, allowing Four Seasons to consolidate its position as a leading care provider.


Creating value 

  1. Transforming strategy

    • Upon acquisition, Terra Firma undertook a detailed and comprehensive strategic review of the business. This led to a reorganisation of the Group into three separate businesses with distinct customer propositions which offer exposure to significant growth sectors within the industry.
    • Terra Firma has also taken steps to better leverage the business’s scale, undertaking a number of initiatives in workforce management, facilities management, procurement, pharmacy services and food supply.
  2. Strengthening management

    • In segmenting the organisation, Terra Firma has installed new CEOs in each of the three businesses, ensuring each has the leadership focus necessary to drive further growth.
  3. Developing through capital expenditure

    • Four Seasons has undertaken a significant capital expenditure programme to refurbish the majority of homes in brighterkind, to further develop the dementia proposition within FSHC, to enhance the quality of care through its industry-leading Quality of Life programme, and to develop additional facilities in high-growth areas in THG with a view to delivering better care, higher occupancy and improved margins.
  4. Building through mergers and acquisitions

    • The elderly care market is highly fragmented and since acquisition Four Seasons has completed a number of accretive add-on investments. In 2013, Four Seasons acquired a portfolio of 17 private-care focused homes which helped bring scale to the brighterkind business. This was followed by the acquisition of a further seven private-care focused homes in 2014.
  5. Lowering the cost of capital to create extra upside

    • At acquisition, the business issued two high-yield bonds to lower the Group’s cost of capital. Further bank debt was arranged to part-fund the two acquisitions. 

Status of Investment: The FSHC investment is unrealised.

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