Press release: Project Bluebell
Release Date: 14th March 2022
Blue Ribbon Healthcare Group Limited (“Blue Ribbon”), a provider of residential and supported living services for adults with autism and learning disabilities, has received significant investment from London-based investment firm Queens Park Equity (“QPE”), in a transaction advised on by Yorkshire based advisers, Castle Square Corporate Finance and Squire Patton Boggs.
Operating from high-quality bespoke residential properties and supported living services located across the Northwest of England, Blue Ribbon, is one of the region’s best established providers for supporting individuals with complex needs.
Since the business was formed in 2016, Blue Ribbon has successfully opened nine residential and supported living services, designed to specifically meet the needs of the individuals living there.
All current properties are located across the North West, in the Greater Manchester area and Lancashire.
The significant investment from QPE will provide Blue Ribbon with the resources to create additional services across the North of England, to help ensure individuals autism and learning difficulties, who may display challenging behaviour or have complex needs, to receive the right level of support in a bespoke environment suitable to meet the needs of the individual.
The Blue Ribbon Senior Management Team comprises of Mark Fuller as Chief Executive Officer, Paul Carter as Chief Commercial Officer and Sam Leonard as Chief Operating Officer, each of whom will continue their current roles and will be responsible for delivering growth going forward.
On behalf of the Management Team Mark Fuller said, “We are excited to secure this investment which will enable the group to focus on supporting many more individuals over the coming years. Many of the individuals we support come to us from institutional environments and need the bespoke services that we develop. Our partnership with QPE means we can focus on continuing to increase the number of individuals we care for, secure in the knowledge that we have a committed, supportive, and experienced investment partner.”
With prior experience in the specialist care sector, Jonny Kay, Alison Price and Sami Igout from Queen’s Park Equity, led on the transaction on behalf of the investor.
Blue Ribbon is the sixth platform investment from Queen’s Park Equity Fund I, which was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap of £202m in December 2020. QPE is focused on providing capital and expertise to high-quality, entrepreneur-led businesses within the Health & Pharma, Education and Tech Services sectors, with an ambition to accelerate their growth.
Alison Price, QPE, adds: “We are very excited to be supporting Mark, Paul and Sam and the wider team to build on their impressive success to-date. Blue Ribbon stood out to us because of its uncompromising focus on quality, its innovative approach to partnering with commissioners and its expertise in looking after service users with high acuity Autism and Learning Difficulties.”
Led by Director Patrick Lynch and supported by Brad Green, Yorkshire-based dealmakers Castle Square Corporate Finance, acting for the Blue Ribbon Management Team and Shareholders, ran a competitive process. After receiving multiple offers, QPE emerged as preferred investment partner to support the Management Team through Blue Ribbon’s next stage of growth.
Patrick Lynch said, “Blue Ribbon has grown into a market-leading care provider dedicated to supporting vulnerable adults with complex needs. We are delighted to have worked with the Management Team and to play a part in assisting the business through its next phase of expansion. The investment from QPE allows the Management Team to develop new services in much needed areas of the UK, where demand for these services have been vastly under served for far too long. With the support from QPE, I am sure Blue Ribbon will continue and be a huge success”.
The Leeds office of international law firm Squire Patton Boggs, led by Private Equity Head Paul Mann and supported by Senior Associates Louisa Hine and Hannah Crosland and Associates Harry Hobson, Emily Downie and Sarah Hardman, provided legal services and advice to the Blue Ribbon Management Team.
Paul Mann said, “We are pleased to have supported the Blue Ribbon management team on a transaction that will enable the business to grow and develop at a time when its services are not only highly sought after, but also of vital importance to the communities it serves.”
The QPE investment was accompanied with banking facilities provided by Santander.
Other advisers acting on the transaction included:
London office of CMS provided legal advice to QPE. London office of Grant Thornton provided corporate finance advice to QPE. Maidenhead-based Wilson Partners provided financial and tax due diligence services to QPE. London-based Connell Consulting provided commercial due diligence advice to QPE.
Sheffield based Castle Square Corporate Finance offer pro-active corporate finance advice to clients throughout the UK, tailoring our service to our clients and their markets, giving us an enviable record of successfully completing deals, including acquisitions and mergers, Management Buy-Outs and Buy-Ins, finance raising and disposals.
Castle Square Corporate Finance Limited
Tel: 0114 213 8353
Mob: 07709 715765