RMT Corporate Finance team advises on successful care home acquisition

April 2, 2024

An expanding North East care group is growing its property portfolio after completing the acquisition of a successful County Durham care home.

Lenore Care has acquired the 34-bedroom Melbury House residential care home in the village of Dawdon near Seaham from owners Robert and Susan Roney for an undisclosed sum.

Originally a vicarage, the main part of the property dates back more than a century. It retains many of its original features, including stained glass windows in the main lounge and a feature central staircase.

Owned by Jack and Grace Jenkinson, Lenore Care now has four North East residential and dementia care homes and expects to make further regional acquisitions over the next five years.

The 47-strong staff team at Melbury House are all being retained. There are now 115 people employed across all Lenore Care’s properties.

Michael Cantwell and Julie Cuthbertson of RMT Accountants & Business Advisors worked on the transaction and were introduced to Lenore Care by Michael Wicks, relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank.

Paul Bell, partner in the Newcastle office of Burnetts LLP, provided legal advice on the disposal alongside solicitor Luca Iannotti assisting with the property aspects of the transaction.

Robert and Susan bought Melbury House in 2009, initially upgrading its facilities and adding a conservatory which overlooks the care home’s private grounds.

A further 12 bedrooms were added to the original 22 in 2013, as well as a new kitchen, dining room and family room.

Robert Roney says: ”Selling Melbury House was part of our retirement plans from when we first bought it. Having run it for so long, and knowing our residents and staff so well, it had to go to the right people.

“We felt Jack and Grace were the perfect fit for Melbury House from the very first time they came to view it.  They recognised the quality of the property, the commitment of our excellent team and most importantly the happiness of our residents.

“We’re really comfortable with putting the future of Melbury House in their hands and hope they enjoy running the business as much as we have.

“Michael and Paul were always available to us through the sale process and always had the information and answers we needed to make everything run very smoothly.”

Jack Jenkinson adds: “The family feel of Melbury House was a big part of its appeal. You can see the personal investment that’s been made in the property as soon as you walk in.

“The building and facilities are immaculate, the staff are friendly and professional, and it has an excellent local reputation, meaning that it is always fully occupied.

“We’re adding a successful business to the Lenore Care portfolio, as well as inheriting a great deal of goodwill. Our focus is on maintaining the impressive standard of care that Robert, Susan and their team have delivered over so many years.

“Our growth plan for Lenore Care is to make further acquisitions in the next five years as and when the right properties come along in the right regional locations.”

Michael Cantwell, head of corporate finance at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, says: “Being able to introduce Robert and Susan to Jack and Grace, and to then support the completion of a transaction where both the purchaser and vendor are so well matched is especially satisfying.

“The couples’ respective ambitions and priorities matched extremely well, and we’re very pleased to have helped this deal reach a successful conclusion.”

Michael Wicks, relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “Jack and Grace have an excellent pedigree when it comes to providing good quality residential care.

“As a social impact bank, we are proud that our customer deposits support organisations like Lenore Care to make a positive difference in local communities.

“Having provided finance for their previous acquisitions, and seeing Lenore Care’s impact grow, we were delighted to support the purchase of Melbury House.”

Paul Bell, partner at Burnetts LLP, says: “We were delighted to work with the team at RMT and to assist Robert and Susan in the sale of this great business.”

If you need any advise of assistance with a potential acquisition or sale of a business, please get in touch on 0191 256 9500 or email advice@r-m-t.co.uk.


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