The homes provide a range of care needs for both long term and respite periods including Nursing, Residential, Palliative, End of Life, Dementia, Bariatrics and Young Mental Health Care.
We were delighted to provide We Care Group, with a £3.3m refinancing package and continue our support for fantastic businesses in the Healthcare sector.
Wes Hodelin at MAF Healthcare, specialist healthcare broker, introduced the team at We Care Group to ThinCats to arrange the funding package.
Wes Hodelin, Director of Healthcare Finance, MAF Healthcare: "Bernie’s knowledge as an experienced operator and Richard’s knowledge as an experienced healthcare financier made the whole process smooth and efficient. Their passion for a sector that supports our most vulnerable is palpable and working with them has been an absolute pleasure."
Richard Henshaw, Director, National Development Healthcare, ThinCats: “Bernie knows the care home industry inside out, and is surrounded by an extremely impressive team of experienced staff. It is a pleasure to support the business with this funding, and to be able to watch them continue to develop and improve the homes under their umbrella.”
How has the business changed in recent years?
"We now employ over 1200 staff. The main area for development in recent years has been in technology. We Care care homes offer electronic care plans and activity tables, enabling both residents and families to access full information on their care and well being. The pandemic has been the biggest ever challenge to the industry and company. Changes in rules and restrictions have happened on a daily basis, and we have had to stay fully up-to-date with all of the changes, establishing infection control procedures and a dedicated quality compliance team to keep staff and residents safe and well. The business has expanded from Blackpool to cover a large area of the NW as well as into Yorkshire."
How do you see the future of the business?
"Our short term goals include an aim to grow the group to 30 care homes, although the priority of creating good value from acquisitions remains in place and this is more important than any specific number. We constantly measure ourselves against benchmarks provided by the likes of Christies and Knight Frank, to monitor many aspects of the business, including EBITDA, to ensure the continuity of our success. In terms of opportunities, there is a ongoing opportunity presented by the baby boom generation, the oldest of whom are now at an age to start needing our services, and the care home industry is not yet able to provide for all"
When did you start thinking about procuring external finance?
"We originally accessed funding from the high street, and then as the pandemic hit, access to this funding shut down - they were too rigid. We approached financial advisor MAF Finance Group, who recommended ThinCats. ThinCats provided an innovative solution to our first funding requirement, and so it made sense to work with them again. We have since had other opportunities for funding, but the relationship that we have built with ThinCats means that we have continued this way."
Why do you think external funding is so important?
"You need to make your cash work, and look at borrowing to the right level - for us that means creating value in our homes."
How will it help you achieve your goals?
"The funding will enable us to increase the number of homes in our portfolio, thereby leading to an increase in staff numbers, and to continue to invest in the latest technology to give our residents the best possible experience."
What were you looking for in a potential funder?
" We were looking for a funder to understand our business, the changes brought about by the current climate, and the challenges with occupancy, and we needed them not to be too rigid."
Why did you choose ThinCats funding vs other funders you may have considered?
"Everyone is taking a risk; we want to deliver, and know that we need to cut our costs if income is down. We needed a funder to understand our business fully, and ThinCats ticked every box. They are good to work with and willing to take the gamble with us."
How did we meet your requirements?
"We have found the ThinCats team to be willing, trusting, understanding, and credible - it is a real partnership."
We are passionate about providing exemplary standards of care to our residents, and this funding is critical in enabling us to continue with our ambitious improvement plans. We were very impressed with the way that ThinCats and Midlands Asset Finance understood our position and aims, and ultimately arranged the funding around our needs.
Bernie Suresparan, Founder, We Care Group