Rmt Accountants Helps Seaham Care Home Owners Complete Retirement Sale

Issue 101

Advice from RMT Accountants & Business Advisors has helped the owners of a successful County Durham care home complete its sale to an expanding North East care group.

Lenore Care has acquired the 34-bedroom Melbury House residential care home in the village of Dawdon near Seaham from owners Robert and Susan Roney for an undisclosed sum.

Originally a vicarage, the main part of the property dates back more than a century and retains many of its original features, including stained glass windows in the main lounge and a feature central staircase.

Owned by Jack and Grace Jenkinson, Lenore Care now has four North East residential and dementia care homes, and expects to make further regional acquisitions over the next five years.

Melbury House 47-strong staff team are all being retained, with a total of 115 people now employed across all Lenore Care’s properties.

Julie Cuthbertson and Michael Cantwell of RMT Accountants & Business Advisors worked with Robert and Susan Roney on the transaction and were introduced to Lenore Care by Michael Wicks, relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank.

Paul Bell, partner in the Newcastle office of Burnetts LLP, provided legal advice to Robert and Susan on the disposal, with Burnetts solicitor Luca Iannotti assisting with the property aspects of the transaction.

Robert and Susan bought Melbury House in 2009, initially upgrading its facilities and adding a conservatory which overlooks the care home’s private grounds.

A further 12 bedrooms were added to the original 22 in 2013, as well as a new kitchen, dining room and family room.

Robert Roney says: “Selling Melbury House was part of our retirement plans from when we first bought it, but having run it for so long and knowing our residents and staff so well, it had to go to the right people.

“We felt Jack and Grace were the perfect fit for Melbury House from the very first time they came to view it. They recognised the quality of the property, the commitment of our excellent team and most importantly the happiness of our residents.

“We’re really comfortable with putting the future of Melbury House in their hands and hope they enjoy running the business as much as we have.

“RMT and Burnetts were always available to us through the sale process and always had the information and answers we needed to make everything run very smoothly.”

Jack Jenkinson adds: “The family feel of Melbury House was a big part of its appeal, and you can see the personal investment that’s been made in the property as soon as you walk in.

“The building and facilities are immaculate, the staff are friendly and professional, and it has an excellent local reputation, meaning that it is always fully occupied.

“We’re adding a successful business to the Lenore Care portfolio, as well as inheriting a great deal of goodwill, and our focus is on maintaining the impressive standard of care that Robert, Susan and their team have delivered over so many years.

“Our growth plan for Lenore Care is to make further acquisitions in the next five years as and when the right properties come along in the right regional locations.”

Julie Cuthbertson, corporate finance manager at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, says: “Being able to introduce Robert and Susan to Jack and Grace, and to then support the completion of a transaction where both the purchaser and vendor are so well matched is especially satisfying.

“The couples’ respective ambitions and priorities matched extremely well, and we’re very pleased to have helped this deal reach a successful conclusion.”

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