Eighteen care homes in Cheshire with a total of 683 beds have changed hands following a confidential marketing exercise handled by the Colliers International Healthcare team on behalf of CLS Care Services. The guide price for the group was £25 million.

The homes were sold to Croftwood Care (Cheshire), part of the Minster Care Group, a nationwide family-run care provider with over 80 homes. The company previously bought ten care homes from CLS, including eight homes in Wigan and Leigh in 2014 and will continue to operate each service with existing staff and residents, ensuring continuity of care and employment.

Commenting on the sale, CLS Group chief executive, Nick Dykes said: “We are confident that the homes will thrive under their new ownership and the deal has been concluded with the best interests of residents at heart. The Minster Care Group is a well-established and reputable care provider and this move ensures the future of the CLS homes.

CLS Care Services is to rebrand as Belong Ltd and focus on its strategy to further expand its Belong villages operation.

The community village model, pioneered by Belong in 2007 has been developed around the needs of people with dementia and has achieved a track record of exemplar care provision for older people.

“Its emphasis on community and its range of housing and support services means there are many more options and facilities than can be offered in a traditional care home setting.”

Rachel McCarthy, Director at Colliers International, who led the transaction, adds: "We were delighted to act for CLS Care Services in the sale and assist them in their repositioning in the healthcare marketplace. This sale demonstrates there is still strong demand for well-performing, regional care home groups, where there are established relationships with local care commissioners, long serving staff and good reputations in the local communities.”