Southern Cross landlords bring in Brunswick as rescue package is readied

The landlords of care homes rented by beleaguered Southern Cross Healthcare has brought in PR support as they plan to take back control of over half of the properties.

Elderly care: 750 Southern Cross homes under threat
Elderly care: 750 Southern Cross homes under threat

A committee of the landlords, including care home operators Four Seasons and Bondcare, property investor NHP and led by accountant Grant Thornton, has hired City agency Brunswick to support its comms.

Some 80 landlords met in London on Monday to put together their own proposals to continue the operation of the care homes.

The landlords propose to take back over half of Southern Cross' 750 care homes, with Four Seasons and Bondcare operating their own homes, while new tenants are sought for the others.

The plan could also involve a restructured Southern Cross under new leadership continuing to manage a portion of the homes.

News of Brunswick's appointment comes days after PRWeek revealed that private equity giant Blackstone had called in Finsbury on a project basis to supports its media relations.

Blackstone, the former Southern Cross-owner, has been heavily criticised for its sale-and-leaseback strategy blamed for dragging the firm close to bankruptcy.

Southern Cross, which provides care for about 31,000 elderly people in the UK, last month announced it was to cut a third from its rental bill as it attempted to agree a rescue package.

Southern Cross retains FD for financial comms and Porter Novelli provides national press office services.

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