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Paradise Papers: Private equity firm made struggling care home operator take costly loan

Britain’s second biggest care home operator was made to borrow money through a very expensive loan from its private equity owner in a deal designed to extract £890m in cash from the struggling business.

The disclosures are likely to raise fresh concerns over the future of Four Seasons Health Care, which operates more than 300 care homes across the UK, and has been drowning in debt.

Described in reports as teetering on the brink of ruin, Four Seasons has been hammered by cuts to council care budgets brought on by years of austerity.

Filings in the tax haven of Luxembourg and data from the Paradise Papers reveal how Terra Firma hoped to make a vast profit from the business after acquiring it in 2012.

Four Seasons was made to borrow £220m from Terra Firma subsidiaries. The repayment terms were huge – 15% interest a year, on a compound basis, over 10 years.

By 2022, when it was due to be repaid, Four Seasons would have owed its controlling shareholder four times the original sum.

Read more in The Guardian.

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