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City & County Healthcare acquires Newcastle’s largest domiciliary care provider, Careline

Sovereign Capital, the UK private equity Buy & Build specialist, has acquired Careline Homecare Limited (Careline) – the market-leading domiciliary care provider in Newcastle – by portfolio company City & County Healthcare Group (“City & County”). This is City & County’s fifth bolt-on acquisition since Sovereign’s investment in 2009.

Similar to City & County, Careline provides care in the home, predominantly to elderly people and also to individuals with physical disabilities, mental health issues and learning difficulties.  The business has two branches, both of which are rated Excellent by the Care Quality Commission, serving clients across Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Northumberland.  Since it was founded in 1998, Careline has consistently grown the number of care hours provided, aided by its excellent reputation for the quality of service delivery. 
Careline will be run on a day-to-day basis by its experienced Registered Care Manager, Donna Winch, who will work with City & County’s Regional Director for the North, John Preston, to operationally integrate the business and drive further organic growth. 
This acquisition cements City & County’s presence in northern England following the Group’s 2010 purchase of Guardian Homecare, which operates branches in Blackpool, Blackburn and Newcastle, alongside branches in southern England.  With Sovereign’s backing, City & County has more than doubled the number of care hours it provides per week, from 30,000 at acquisition in September 2009 to 70,000 today.  
Commenting on the transaction, Dominic Dalli, Partner at Sovereign, says: “This is a strategically important acquisition for City & County as it creates a northern hub from which the group can expand further. Sovereign will continue to use its Buy & Build strategy to grow the business organically and through acquisitions into a leading, national provider of high-quality domiciliary care.” 
Craig Rushton, CEO of City & County, said: “We are delighted to welcome Careline into our organisation. Its North East location, considerable market share and compatible working processes make it a complementary addition to the group and the acquisition moves forward our UK expansion.”
Sovereign has committed total funding of gbp25m to City & County and continues to assess further Buy & Build opportunities to expand the Group’s reach and develop its service offering.

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