Crunch talks are taking place this weekend to try to stop care homes firm Four Seasons from being placed in administration.
US-based hedge fund H2 Capital, which has bought up the majority of Four Seasons £525 million bond debt, is in a battle to wrestle control away from owner Terra Firma.
H2 Capital, run by US-based Spencer Haber, is understood to have been granted access to Four Seasons’ financial documents as part of talks with care home bosses – fuelling hopes a deal may be struck.
H2 needs to strike a deal by Friday when a £26 million interest payment is due from Four Seasons, which is home to 17,000 elderly people. Failure to agree a deal would risk triggering a default on Four Seasons’ debt.
It is unlikely that would result in immediate closures. But one source admitted it could still ‘create an awful mess’.
H2 has drafted in Baroness Ford, formerly chair of care home provider Barchester, to be chair at Four Seasons if negotiations are successful. Haber is separately engaged in a legal tussle to wrestle 24 care homes worth £136 million from Terra Firma, which is run by Guernsey-based Guy Hands.
An H2 source said it was ‘working towards a deal as a matter of urgency’. Terra Firma said it had written off its £450 million investment in Four Seasons and called for a deal to ‘head off the obvious disruption that administration would trigger.’
By Neil Craven