Grupo Care gets funding

21 Invest, the Southern European private equity investor has acquired a majority stake in Madrid-based nursing homes management company, Grupo Care. 21 Invest has committed euro8 million to the company with plans for further financing of a buy and build project.

With the funding Grupo Care hopes to increase its total number of beds under management from 1,000 to 7,000 by 2006. The aim of the project is to consolidate a highly fragmented sector that is facing the challenge of a rising demand driven by an ageing population.

The transaction was co-ordinated and structured by Martin Gonzalez del Valle and Nicola Zambon of the 21 Invest Madrid office, assisted by Arthur Andersen, Garrigues Andersen and Araoz y Rueda Abogados. The current management team will continue to run the company.

Grupo Care manages seven centres with 650 beds and 220 employees, as well as two franchised residences with 300 beds. Estimated turnover for 2001 is around euro7 million.

Martin Gonzalez del Valle, managing director of 21 Invest, said: “We are sponsoring an outstanding management team, with excellent experience and reputation in the sector, who will certainly exploit all attractive growth opportunities that we expect to see in the coming years.”

21 Invest has recently raised euro323 million to be invested in the next two years, with around E130 million allocated to Spain. This fund is one of the largest pools of capital dedicated to investment in middle market buyouts and build-ups in Southern Europe.