Graphite Capital exits Willowbrook Healthcare for ‘strong return’


exit_wayout_170sqUK mid-market private equity firm Graphite Capital has exited its majority stake in care homes manager Willowbrook Healthcare for what it said was a “strong return”.

The business was bought out by the management and US healthcare property investor Health Care REIT.

Willowbrook’s founders John Strowbridge and Ian Matthews will continue to manage the homes and the company.

Graphite, the management team and a bank consortium led by RBS have provided more than £80m to the company following its launch in October 2008. Willowbrook has since expanded to 13 freehold homes with capacity for 880 residents.

The private equity firm has previously backed two businesses led by the same management team, Avery Healthcare and Optimum Care.

Graphite senior partner Mark Hudson said, “Willowbrook, Optimum and Avery fitted perfectly with our strategy of investing in best-in-class businesses with strong growth potential.

“We were delighted to have contributed to their success and to have provided much needed funding for the development of new care homes in the UK.

“There is an ongoing need for investment in the broader healthcare sector, which we believe will continue to generate attractive opportunities for our funds.”

Last month it was reported that Graphite was nearing a first close for its eighth fund.

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