With sector expertise and a commitment to long-term customer relationships, Santander was ideally placed to put Kingsley Healthcare on a fast-track growth trajectory
- Company turnover: £20-30 million
- Sector: Care Homes
- Kingsley Healthcare runs 23 care homes across the UK. It has a unique service-led approach to care, with properties more like the residents’ own homes.
- The company wanted to double the size of two care homes and increase their capacity for learning disability care, but their incumbent bank had to limit its funds due to the financial crisis.
- Santander initially provided a five-year Business Loan to refinance existing debt and extend the two properties. Santander later provided Bacs facilities, Asset Finance, and Day to Day Banking, all of which helped the company expand into specialist care for dementia patients, as well as younger people with learning difficulties.
- Santander had specialist knowledge of the care homes sector and was also interested in establishing a long-term relationship with the client.
- Kingsley Healthcare has increased turnover from £17 million to over £20 million and has successfully expanded their market by catering for more specialist care.
Kingsley Healthcare launched in 1999 with a single care home near the Suffolk coast. The company has since not only established a total of 23 care homes across the UK, but also developed specialisms in the fields of dementia and learning disabilities.
The Group’s founder and CEO Daya Thayan worked in the hotel business for 15 years before identifying a niche in the care industry for homes that were more like hotels or residents’ own homes. “I was able to tap into parts of the hospitality experience and change the way the care homes worked,” says Daya. “In a care home, people have breakfast at a particular time, and will do activities at a particular time. In hotels you don’t do that. You can choose what you want to do and that flexibility was brought into Kingsley Healthcare.”
The crisis hits
Daya’s plans for Kingsley Healthcare looked set to launch until the financial crisis hit and the banks were forced to limit their lending for expansion. Daya suddenly found his company’s growth prospects looking less than promising.
Daya approached several other banks, all of whom insisted he move his business banking again and restructure the company according to their recommendations. But this was not what Daya had in mind. “Our business plan was to target the affluent marketplaces in East Anglia, and to concentrate on buying existing care homes with the potential for expansion rather than go for new and purpose-built homes that the other banks suggested.” He adds, “We wanted to work with somebody who was a sector specialist, somebody who understands the healthcare sector.”
Breaking the banking mould
Upon their initial meeting, Santander Relationship Director Dasos Kirtsides recalls Daya’s surprise when it became clear that Santander was more interested in providing solutions over the long-term rather than pressuring him to migrate his entire banking processes straight away. “We’re about establishing a relationship,” says Dasos. “It wasn’t about the bank just trying to do a deal and move onto the next one.”
Santander worked with Daya to find the right growth solution for Kingsley Healthcare and the company initially received a five-year business loan, most of which was to refinance the company’s existing debt, while the rest went towards a group working capital facility and extending two dementia homes.
Entering a specialist market
Time passed and the banking relationship between Kingsley Healthcare and Santander deepened. As well as providing Bacs facilities (via the bank’s Domestic Payments and Receipts), Asset Finance and Day to Day Banking, Santander spoke to Daya about his planned expansion into the specialist sectors. “We knew Dasos and his team had tremendous insight across the healthcare sector. This proved invaluable when we wanted to expand and concentrate on care for people with learning disabilities,” says Daya. “We had a long discussion about our existing portfolio, where we operate, and how we could build our resources going forward, and how Santander could help us.” This discussion resulted in further funding, which was used to purchase a new purpose-built specialist dementia care home in Cheshire, as well as the development of a new learning disability unit at an existing site. The new extensions for both the dementia care home and the learning disability unit achieved 100% occupancy shortly after construction.
“Santander understood the mechanics of the market, and were able to tell us what the industry and market trends were, and how we should create a best-in-class operation for that particular niche.”
Daya Thayan, Founder and CEO of Kingsley Healthcare
As well as providing the finance and support to help Kingsley Healthcare expand in the specialist learning disabilities market, Santander also drew upon their overall experience in the Care Homes sector to help the company develop their market knowledge, as Daya explains. “Santander understood the mechanics of the market, and were able to tell us what the industry and market trends were, and how we should create a best-in-class operation for that particular niche.”
A successful relationship
Daya’s current plans for Kingsley Healthcare involve continuing both the company’s growth and developing its specialist care offerings. He also plans to acquire three to five older, extendible properties over the next few years. Santander has already structured Daya’s funding package to provide enough cashflow to maintain his entire portfolio of properties for the foreseeable future.
Since receiving its first Santander funding package, Kingsley Healthcare has not only taken the first steps in achieving its growth plans, but also future-proofed those gains. Dasos believes this is largely down to Santander prioritising and tailoring a facility to suit Daya’s needs. “[Daya] was using us for ideas on how to enhance the business and grow it rather than us telling him what he was doing wrong and what he should change.”
“Santander and Dasos and his team were absolutely brilliant,” says Daya. “They understood our needs. They understood our existing operation. They were very supportive of our efforts in building a team, and they wanted to help us grow and be part of our team.” He adds, “We have a great relationship and a great dialogue. We have complete transparency, and we have great faith in the way that they have helped us, and the programme that we have to take this forward.”
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Relationship Director Comments
We understand healthcare. So the conversations over the past seven to eight months were about Daya telling us what he was going to do with his business and using us, if anything, as a guide. He was talking to me as though I was part of his business.