Monday 18 December 2017
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Southern Cross set to shut down and stop running homes

Landlords owning all 752 care homes in the Southern Cross Group have said they want to leave the group.

"It is currently envisaged that the existing group will cease to be an operator of homes," an update on the restructuring process said.

As a result, trading in the company's shares has been suspended.

The announcement also said the landlords were still committed to providing continuity of care to its 31,000 residents.

The Darlington-based Southern Cross and its landlords and creditors are a month into a four-month restructuring period, which was agreed in crisis talks in June.

The statement said that the details of the restructuring were not yet settled and there was still a possibility of further changes.

It had been expected that some of the landlords would leave the group, leaving Southern Cross operating with between 250 and 400 homes, but now it appears that the group is to disappear altogether.

The process began when the UK's biggest care home operator said it was unable to pay its rent bills to its landlords.

The statement said that little or no value would be left for the shareholders.

"We regret the loss of value which shareholders have experienced," Southern Cross chairman Christopher Fisher said.

About 250 of the homes will immediately begin to be transferred to other operators.

The owners of the rest of the homes are still finalising their plans, but they may end up using the existing Southern Cross back-office staff and some of its management.

"We anticipate that the period of uncertainty which we have been experiencing will now draw to a close," Mr Fisher added.