Shaw healthcare targets long-term growth with £10m Bridges Evergreen investment

  • Shaw is one of the UK’s leading providers of residential and nursing care for the elderly, helping to address the urgent under-supply of quality provision.
  • It is one of the ten biggest employee-owned businesses in the UK, with over 3,500 employees.
  • Bridges, which has a long track record in the care sector, is investing £10m from Evergreen Holdings, its new permanent capital vehicle.
  • The investment will support Shaw’s continuing growth and social impact focus.

Shaw healthcare (“Shaw”), an employee-owned care provider for the elderly, has agreed to sell a minority stake to Bridges Evergreen Holdings (“Evergreen”) for £10m to accelerate its growth and development.

Care provision for the elderly is approaching crisis point in the UK due to funding pressures and the rapid growth in demand caused by an ageing population and rising life expectancy. The population of over-85-year-olds has increased by almost a third over the last decade to c. 1.5m, and is expected to double to c. 3.2m within the next 25 years – which will also increase the demand for dementia-related and other specialist care.

Shaw is helping to address this under-supply by providing high-quality, affordable residential and nursing care – plus domiciliary care and supported living services – for the elderly, including those with dementia and mental health issues. It is one of the ten largest employee-owned companies in the UK, with over 3,500 employees and revenues of more than £90m last year, and will continue to be substantially owned by its employees for the long-term.

Driven by the ethos to deliver “the quality of care we would want for our loved ones” and brand values of Wellness, Happiness and Kindness, Shaw operates 51 homes across England, Wales and Scotland and enjoys strong relationships with Local Authorities and the NHS, from whom it derives over half of its income through long-term contracts.

Operators in the care sector have long struggled with high staff turnover, which often has a detrimental effect on service quality. Shaw’s focus on increased engagement, employee benefits, high quality training and development opportunities aims to reduce staff turnover and improve the quality and consistency of care – which in turn can make Shaw a more attractive partner for health and social care commissioners.

Evergreen is a permanent capital vehicle managed by Bridges Fund Management (“Bridges”), the specialist sustainable and impact investor. Unlike standard private equity funds, Evergreen has no requirement to exit in a finite period – allowing it to provide financial and operational support to Shaw over the long-term. As part of the deal, Bridges’ Scott Greenhalgh will join the Shaw board as a Non-Executive Director.

Bridges has extensive experience in the care sector. Evergreen’s first investment was in a residential care provider for young people with complex needs. Bridges has also previously backed two domiciliary care providers (one employee-owned), both of which substantially increased their revenues and care provision during Bridges’ investment period. And through its property funds, Bridges has also developed 14 of the most environmentally-friendly care homes in the UK, in partnership with a leading developer.

Jeremy Nixey, founder/CEO of Shaw healthcare, commented:
“As we continue to expand the business and enhance our impact in the coming years we sought an investment partner that shares our values and has a strong record in the care sector. Bridges are the perfect fit and align with our ethos. We welcome Scott to Shaw’s board and look forward to his valuable input in our bright future.”

Scott Greenhalgh, Executive Chairman, Bridges Evergreen Holdings, said:
“Shaw is a great example of the kind of organisation we created Evergreen to support: a high-quality business addressing a clear societal challenge at scale and over the long term, managed by an outstanding team. We believe that as an employee-owned business, its focus on staff engagement serves as an important source of competitive advantage as it looks to deliver the highest quality of care and win new contracts. We look forward to working closely with Jeremy and the team.”

The investment is scheduled for completion in early December.




About Shaw Healthcare

Shaw healthcare is a high-quality provider of specialist residential and nursing care services, domiciliary and supported living services to the elderly and those living with dementia and mental health issues. Shaw was founded in 1986 by its current CEO Jeremy Nixey, whose vision was to build a national group that would benefit from scale infrastructure to provide “the quality of care we would want for our loved ones”. It started life as a registered housing association and converted to an employee-owned business in 2006. It operates 63 regulated care services in 51 sites across England, Scotland and Wales with more than 3,500 employees and a turnover of over £90m last year.

Shaw provides a design, build and operate service for many Local Authorities with care requirements and has developed strong relationships with councils and the NHS, from whom it derives over half of its income through long-term contracts. Its nurse-led dementia care, based on the current best practices and Shaw’s own therapeutic research, has attracted overseas care providers, to whom Shaw delivers training in order for them to mirror Shaw’s methodologies for their residents. Shaw’s mental health services have received multiple awards for innovation and patient-focused care. It also provides specialised care services for people with acquired brain injuries and intermediate care for those waiting for discharge from hospital care.

About Bridges Fund Management

Bridges Fund Management is a specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investment, with offices in London and New York. Since 2002, the firm has now raised over £900m across its Sustainable Growth, Property and Social Sector funds in the U.K. and the U.S. It invests in high-impact SMEs, properties and social sector organisations that are helping to solve some of society’s biggest challenges, with a focus on four key impact ‘themes’: health and wellbeing, education and skills, sustainable living and underserved markets.

Bridges’ experience in the care sector includes backing CASA, an employee-owned domiciliary care provider, which increased revenues by over 250% and more than tripled the number of care hours it provided during Bridges’ investment period. It continues to support the growth of Alina Homecare, another specialist domiciliary care provider, which since its launch in 2014 has grown to 21 sites across the UK and over 1,100 employees. And in partnership with specialist developer Castleoak, Bridges has developed 14 of the most environmentally-friendly care homes in the UK. The first investment from Evergreen was in New Reflexions, which operates residential care services for young people with complex needs.

About Bridges Evergreen Holdings

Bridges Evergreen Holdings is a new kind of investment vehicle, designed to free ambitious mission-led businesses from the constraints of traditional fund structures.

  • It looks to back profit-with-purpose companies, public sector spin-outs, social sector organisations and employee-owned businesses.
  • It is structured as a holding company rather than a fund so it can provide ongoing support over the long term, with no exit requirement.
  • In addition to financial capital, it also offers strategic, operational and impact management support plus access to the specialist networks of the Bridges team.