Palatine invests in specialist home healthcare provider Routes

Palatine Private Equity has acquired a majority stake in Routes Healthcare, one of the North’s leading providers of specialist person-centred health and homecare services. Headquartered in the North-West, the business operates from 14 service centres, employing 120 operational and management staff, along with 1,000 carers.

The business provides specialist complex care packages for people with long-term health conditions, clinically led enhanced homecare packages and end of life care, enabling people to spend their final days at home. 

Routes’ fully integrated offering has become prized by its customers, as the health and social care space evolves to enable people to receive more tailored, specialist care outside of a clinical setting.

In response to the requirements of healthcare commissioners, the management team, led by Jackie Lindsay has developed its complex care offering and focused on growing higher acuity services as well as providing vital additional homecare capacity throughout the Covid-19 crisis. The business’ leadership team is committed to supporting and retaining its workforce with programmes of recruitment, training and development. 

Routes Healthcare has built trusted, long-term relationships with local authorities and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) since it was founded in 2005. Demand for its services has driven sustained revenue growth over recent years and this will continue to be supported by its future service centre roll out programme. 

Key Capital Partners invested in Routes in 2016, and along with the founder Andrew Healing, will retain a minority stake. The core of Routes Healthcare’s existing management team will also remain with the business following the deal. Andy Lees and Tom Wildig from Palatine will join the board. 

Tom Wildig, Investment Director at Palatine, says: “We have been hugely impressed with what Jackie and the team at Routes have achieved over the last two years and are excited to work with them to deliver their plan. The vastly experienced team, robust centralised processes, governance and infrastructure render it ideally suited to organic expansion through opening new sites as well as selected M&A. 

“As NHS and local authority procurement of community and home-based services evolves, with the transition to integrated care systems, Routes’ ability to rapidly deliver flexible, scalable packages across the acuity spectrum makes it well-placed to continue on its rapid growth trajectory.

“As the leader in mid-market ESG investing, the business’ focus on the wellbeing and professional development of its workforce was also a major draw for us. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted both the vital role care workers play, and the lack of recognition much of their work receives. Routes’ investment in its people is not only the right thing to do, it secures a competitive advantage for the business by retaining a skilled, loyal workforce.”

Jackie Lindsay, CEO at Routes Healthcare, adds: “Both myself and the management team are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with Palatine to realise the next stages of our development plan. 

“Palatine felt like a perfect fit for Routes from the very first meeting. We were immediately talking the same language; with our joint commitment to and understanding of the healthcare sector and passion for ESG. To find an investment partner with such naturally aligned values is fantastic. 

“High-quality person-centric healthcare, enabling people to live the lives they want in the place they choose to be, is core to Routes values. This fresh partnership with Palatine will allow us to take the next steps along the route to delivering this vision.”

Shawbrook provided debt finance to support the transaction. 

Palatine was advised by Clearwater (corporate finance), Grant Thornton (debt advisory), KPMG (financial due diligence), Fluid IT (IT and operational DD), and Gately (legal). Connell Consulting provided vendor commercial due diligence and sell-side advice was provided by Grant Thornton (corporate finance) and Ward Hadaway (legal). Routes’ management team was advised by Park Place Corporate Finance.