Sovereign buys Parallel Options

A Gloucestershire-based provider of supported living services has been bought by a private equity firm for an eight figure sum.

Parallel Options, which supports adults with learning disabilities or mental health needs, is the latest company to join Sovereign Capital following an £11 million deal.

Sovereign bought Parallel Options with senior debt provided by Allied Irish Bank as part of its buy-and-build strategy. This deal follows its earlier investments in learning disability and mental health care companies such as CHOICE, TRACSCARE, Alkare and the Cascade Care Group.

The firm plans to develop Parallel Options’ services and expand its business into new regions. A new senior management team has been appointed to lead this strategy.

The company will now be headed by new chief executive Eric Millard, who is experienced in the care services sector and is well known to Sovereign.

He is joined by finance director Steve Huggett, previously commercial finance director at The Sanctuary Spa Group. Meanwhile, Sharon Gillson has been promoted to operations director following several years’ service at the company.

Sovereign received legal services from Joanne Ellis and Ann McCarthy of Pinsent Masons with Andrew Brookes, a partner at chartered accountant Hazlewoods LLP, providing financial advice.

Brookes, who was supported by Richard Dade, said the firm also managed a financial due diligence review of Parallel Options. “There has been significant growth in the supported living area of long-term care and this business had a strong reputation and presence in Gloucestershire.”

The commercial due diligence review was managed by Candesic, which has worked on several projects for the company. Its team was led by Dr Victor Chua and Paul Fegan of its health practice.

“Candesic has an impressive health care sector pedigree and was able to draw on extensive experience to help with the Parallel deal, adding a national perspective to local market analysis.

“Experience in sensitive handling of critical issues ensured success. Social care will always be under financial pressure, but the quality of the Parallel proposition and its standing with local commissioners secures its position as a ‘preferred provider’.”

Parallel has been providing support services ranging from a few hours a day to fully staffed 24 hour packages since 2001.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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