Bolt-on acquisition for Springfield

April 2013

BGF backed Springfield Homecare Services Ltd, part of Springfield Healthcare Group, has completed the acquisition of Positive Life Choices (PLC), a domiciliary care business based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Springfield Homecare is one of the largest independent providers of domiciliary care in Yorkshire and Humberside.

PLC represents the first acquisition that Springfield has made using BGF capital. Springfield financed the acquisition following two investments totaling £4.4 million, which were made by BGF in June 2012.

The deal will add approximately 2,000 hours of care to Springfield Homecare, which gives the business a new presence in the North East and strong relationships with a number of new local authorities. It also increases the number of employees in Springfield Homecare to over 800 and turnover of the overall Group to greater than £13 million per annum.

The acquisition will allow Springfield to submit a variety of local authority tenders to get approval onto new framework agreements and also offers the potential to expand PLC’s services into Durham, Sunderland, Stockton, Northumberland and other neighbouring areas.

Based in the outskirts of the city centre to the north east of Newcastle, PLC specialises in the provision of care services to individuals with learning disabilities (LD) and currently covers Newcastle, Gateshead and Darlington. PLC also provides care services to older people, those with physical disabilities, mental health problems and sensory impairments and works within the supported living, domiciliary and respite care sectors. The company was founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Ian and Amanda Dickinson and has grown steadily, employing 90 staff with a turnover of approximately £1 million per annum.

Of BGF’s total £4.4 million investment, £1.47 million has already been used to fund the development of The Grange Care Village in Seacroft, Leeds, which is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2013.

Graeme Lee, founder and CEO of Springfield Healthcare commented:

“I am delighted to announce our acquisition of Positive Life Choices. This marks the start of an exciting period of growth into the North East for Springfield Home Care, alongside its existing progress within Yorkshire and Humberside.

“BGF’s funding is enabling us to source similar excellent opportunities across Yorkshire and the North East where we can invest quickly, professionally and in alignment with existing management teams.”

Richard Taylor of BGF commented:

“We’d like to congratulate Graeme Lee and Amanda Dickinson on the completion of this acquisition, which is a significant milestone for Springfield’s growth plan.

“For businesses determined to grow quickly, a strategic acquisition can be a transformative moment. However buying another company requires deep pockets and the experience to integrate two organisations in a way that realises their combined potential. Some growing companies have the ambition to expand this way, but lack the means to do it.

“Funding also remains a major challenge for businesses with an acquisition target in mind – even if bank debt is available, it may not be the best way to finance the deal. In practice, equity capital is far less restrictive than bank debt, where the borrower is subsequently required to perform to very tightly defined criteria.

“BGF growth capital is well suited to supporting growth through acquisition and it is a key area where we can offer support to business owners.”