Housing 21 set to take over Claimar Care

Social landlord would be first not-for-profit organisation to purchase a publicly listed company

A registered social landlord that specialises in supported housing for older people is set to become the first not-for-profit organisation to buy a publicly listed company.

Housing 21, which offers sheltered housing and home care and support for elderly people, has had a £19.5m offer for care provider Claimar Care, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market, recommended for acceptance by Claimar's board.

If enough shareholders accept, the deal could go through by the start of October, according to Pushpa Raguvaran, deputy chief executive of Housing 21.

"Claimar seemed to fit well with our mission and purpose," said Raguvaran. "The fact that it was a PLC was incidental."

"We wanted to make our care provision much bigger, and Claimar will allow us to do that. It offered considerable economies of scale."

The acquisition was no more difficult for Housing 21 than it would have been for a private sector purchaser, said Raguvaran.

"The regulators took an interest, but the rules allow you to do it so long as it's in the best interests of the people you're looking after. We expect to see other organisations following in our footsteps and buying more PLCs."

Raguvaran said Housing 21, which started operating nearly 50 years ago as part of the Royal British Legion and now has an annual turnover of £90m, was looking to expand further.

"The care sector is very fragmented and there's opportunity for more consolidation," she said.

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