After hearing about Cera’s plans to acquire more care businesses across the UK, HCI quizzed the company about its strategy.
In an exclusive interview, Paul Richards, director of Mergers and Acquisitions, shares more details with editor Sarah Clarke, and explains why Cera is so keen to rapidly expand.
What level investment does Cera plan to make when acquiring new care businesses?
Our level of investment would be determined on a case by case basis, and will be dependent on the respective make-up of each and every business we acquire over the coming years. We are of course fully appreciative of the fact that each provider is unique in terms of scale, locations, maturity and so forth, and we approach acquisitions with this very much in mind.
Does Cera have a number of businesses in mind that it would like to acquire this year and in the next five years?
Whilst we don’t have a specific number in mind, we are interested in speaking with quality, established businesses, primarily from the domiciliary and complex / specialty care markets.
How will you raise the funds for your planned acquisitions?
Over the past several years we’ve been able to raise significant funding from a range of investors to support our growth throughout the UK. Likewise, we’ve also grown at pace commercially and are already one of the largest providers in the country.
What is Cera’s long-term ambition in terms of growth – how big does it want to be in terms of number of branches and size of the workforce?
Our long-term ambition is to continue our growth throughout the UK and beyond. We’re already one of Europe’s fastest-growing health and social care businesses, and very much aim to continue this momentum for years to come.
Why is Cera so keen to rapidly expand?
We are passionate about positively impacting and benefiting as many individuals as we can. The COVID-19 outbreak has shone a spotlight on just how vital home care is for older people, and we’ve seen significant growth over the last year – we’ve completed over six million home visits during the pandemic to date, and are currently delivering 30,000 care visits every day.
A longer-term result of the pandemic, will be an acceleration in the shift of older people receiving care in their own homes rather than hospitals or a care home setting. Given our rapid growth over the past four and a half years since launching, as well as our future trajectory, we’re ideally placed to help support this change.
How do you plan to maintain quality whilst growing the business?
We’ve shown consistently that we are able to maintain, and continually improve, quality throughout our network whilst growing at pace. A recent third-party survey confirmed that 91% of our users rate our care as either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’, whilst more than 85% of our carers believe our technology helps them to deliver ‘safer and more effective care’.
How many staff do you plan to recruit to support this growth?
Having announced the creation of 10,000 new jobs throughout the UK last year, our recruitment campaign is very much ongoing. We aim to complete this recruitment drive by the end of this year, and are well on track to do so.