Funding package of £26m for Green Corns disposal

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Green Corns, one of the UK’s leading providers of acute childcare has been sold to a Management Buy-Out/Buy-In team, backed with a £26 million funding packaged provided by 3i and Bank of Scotland.

The deal will provide Green Corns with a platform for future growth and further development of the business.

The deal has been led, structured and arranged by the Manchester office of Clearwater Corporate Finance plc with Cobbetts Solicitors providing legal advice to the vendors.

Green Corns is a residential childcare provider for children, aged 10-18 with behavioural difficulties. Headquartered in Rochdale and Widnes in North West England, the business provides a high standard residential unit for each child placement and round the clock care supported by a range of therapeutic services designed to meet the individual’s needs.

The company has an outstanding reputation for the quality of its childcare and has a successful track record of working with young people in crisis. Green Corns currently operates 30 care homes and has a national customer base with local authority clients in all of the major regions of Great Britain.

Green Corns started trading early in March 2000 after months of careful strategic planning and initially had three units in the Widnes area.

The vendors, Mark Adamson and Rod McDonald paid tribute to the staff at Green Corns: “The remarkable growth in such a short period of time has only been possible because of their commitment to the children in our care.”

Clearwater partner Carl Houghton said: “Green Corns has been an amazing success story and we’re delighted to be a part of it. The business has always put care at the top of its agenda and the financial success has followed as a result. The appetite of buyers in this sector remains very strong for companies with these qualities.”

Cobbetts team was led by corporate partner, Chris Dunn who commented: “All the parties have worked very hard to deliver this transaction. We are very pleased to have played a significant part in helping the vendors achieve their aims in handing over the reigns to the new management team.”

The new management team has been strengthened with the introduction of a new chairman and managing director to complement the existing team. Bob Oreschnick takes on the role of chairman. 3i have backed him several times before and he has a successful track record of building quality businesses in the healthcare sector.

Paul Grubic joins as managing director with a background in healthcare and social services operations, to further develop and strengthen the business. Pam Burden, current clinical director and prominent national figure in the care of children, will continue Green Corns focus on market leading care standards.

Kevin Parker, 3i director commented: “The combination of Green Corns reputation for quality care provision combined with the outstanding management team we are backing makes Green Corns an extremely attractive business. We are delighted to help support its development.”

There are more than 55,000 children in care in the UK, with a total residential care market in excess of £9 billion.