Accord Group doubles size of healthcare offering through acquisition of Direct Health

Thursday 26th July 2012

Communities across the Midlands will be offered increased access to health care, social services and support in the comfort of their own homes, following the announcement by West Bromwich-based Accord Group that it has acquired Nottingham-based Direct Health Group. The deal will see the Group’s workforce increase to 4,500 and see a further 2,000 jobs created across the region over the next three years.

The deal, which is considered a natural extension of the Accord Group’s already significant health and social care business, will see the housing group approximately double its health and social care turnover. It will also increase the reach of the care services it offers, enabling it to provide around 3.5 million hours of home-based and residential care each year, allowing more people to lead independent lives. The 2,000 new job opportunities being created over the next three years will be driven by a planned expansion in services and natural vacancies and there will be no job losses as a result of the deal.

Direct Health will continue to operate as an independent company under its existing management structure but will now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Accord Group. It currently operates 18 branches across the Midlands, North East and North West regions from its head office in Nottingham and is the ninth largest provider in the UK.

Accord Group Chief Executive, Dr Chris Handy, added: “This is an exciting announcement for both businesses as well as for communities across the Midlands and North of England. Direct Health is one of the UK’s leading providers of care to people in their own homes and it is a business which has always enjoyed solid organic growth. We have seen it build an excellent reputation, both for the quality of its care and for its strength as a business, becoming fully-integrated into the communities in which it operates. Our customers tell us they have a strong preference for receiving care in their own homes and in acquiring one of the leading providers in the UK, we are responding to this demand in a direct, logical and positive manner.”

Jonathan Vellacott, Chief Executive Officer of Direct Health, said: “Direct Health is a solid and well regarded operator within the domiciliary care sector. I believe that becoming part of the Accord Group will enable us to provide a broader range of services into the communities that we serve. We believe that this solid base will allow us, with Accord’s support, to accelerate Direct Health’s growth; focusing specifically on geographical expansion, a broadening of the care offering into higher acuity services and acquisition of further complex care capability.”

Managing 11,000 affordable homes and planning to build a further 2,000 new homes by 2015, the Accord Group has been offering a range of health, social care and support services to its tenants and the wider community for more than 20 years. Tailoring services according to the needs of the individual, it emphasises independence, choice, respect, dignity and fulfilment for residents, offering both residential schemes and ‘floating’ support, so that people can receive the care they need in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. The acquisition will see it increase the scope and geographical reach of this side of the business, while enabling it to broaden its provision of higher acuity care

The shareholders of Direct Health Group were advised by Andrew Nicholson and Khush Purewal of KPMG Corporate Finance and legal advice was provided by Peter Barton and Jonathan Asquez of Gordons LLP. Commenting on the transaction Khush Purewal said: “Direct Health has a well established reputation as one of the UK’s leading home care providers supplying uniquely tailored, cost-effective care and support to a diverse community with a wide range of needs.” Andrew Nicholson added that: “Accord is an excellent strategic partner which will enable Direct Health to broaden its service offering and become fully integrated into the communities it serves.”