Care Provider Highlea Homes sold in Multi-million pound deal

A Durham-based accommodation and care provider for people with disabilities has been sold.

Highlea Homes Limited has been purchased by residential care firm National Care Group Limited in a multi-million pound deal.

The business accommodates around 65 tenants across 13 properties in Durham with trained carers that help residents to maintain their independence.

It marks the end of an era for Highlea Homes’ shareholders Anne and Brian Burrell, who founded the business in 1991 which now employs 100 staff.

Highlea Homes’ shareholders were assisted in the sale by Baldwins Corporate Finance, making it the second significant deal the firm has completed in the care sector in as many months. Andrew Rowe, Accounts Director at Wynyard-based accountants Evolution, who are part of the Baldwins Accountancy Group, worked alongside the Baldwins Corporate Finance team, led by David Fish and Matt Waters.

Anne said: “Twenty-five years ago I decided to use all of my nursing experience with people that had some form of disability to start a service that would make a long-lasting difference to their lives.

“The service we are providing has grown considerably and is going from strength-to-strength, and in National Care Group we believe we have found a buyer with the right values and funding to develop the service further.

“At first we were daunted by selling the business but the Baldwins team project managed the process from start to finish. They helped guide us through the highs and lows of the whole experience to achieve a greater result than we had originally anticipated.

Matt Waters, Corporate Finance Executive, added: “It’s been brilliant to work with Anne and Brian who have used their passion and experience to not only provide a worthy community service, but an impressive business at the same time.

“They wanted to take their time in ensuring the business was going into the right hands, and we’re delighted to have successfully completed a deal for them.”

The purchase also sees National Care Group, who are highly acquisitive, expand into a new territory with a vision to increase services available in that area.

Gary Greally, Financial Director at National Care Group, said: “Anne and Brian have developed their business because of their excellent reputation in improving people’s lives, and we’re delighted to be given the opportunity to carry on their great work.

“This deal will see Highlea Homes’ current management team, led by Michele Cator, remain the same, and will enable them to utilise more central resources available to a national group with improved access to training, HR and funding.

“Highlea Homes becomes National Care Group’s fourth acquisition in the care provider sector, with plans to expand further with the emphasis being national care delivered locally.”

Law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys acted for National Care Group Limited and BHP Law acted on behalf of Highlea Homes Limited throughout the sale process.

Maxine Buckton, Solicitor at BHP Law, commented: “It’s been a pleasure to work with and assist Anne and Brian Burrell to sell the entire share capital of their successful care and support business.

“We are delighted for both parties that we were able to complete, especially as the deal was part of a larger property transaction, which led to a thorough and complex due diligence task.”