Care company acquisition handled by Royds Withy King’s health and social care team

October 7, 2021

Law firm Royds Withy King, which has an office in Swindoon, has advised the buyer of domiciliary care agency in a move that will enable it to expand its services.

Taunton-based Somerset Care, which has 27 care homes and provides care and support to help individuals remain independent in their own homes, acquired Way Ahead Care for an undisclosed sum. 

Way Ahead Care, which operates from offices in Bath and Taunton, was launched in 1994 by Pamela Smith after she supported a client of a residential home who wished to return home.

It has since developed into a high-quality business with a number of contracts with local authorities, including Bath & North East Somerset and Somerset County councils as well as extra care housing schemes.

It has also provided pilots and specialist schemes on behalf of local authorities to meet specific needs.

At its peak it delivered more than 6,000 hours of care a week and employed 300-plus staff. 

With significant family involvement during its growth, its directors decided the time was right to become part of a larger organisation and appointed agents Christie & Co to sell the business.

Somerset Care chief executive officer Gary Ridewood said: “By acquiring Way Ahead Care, Somerset Care is helping more people to live the life they choose at home.

“There are no plans to change working practices or service offerings at either business and both organisations will continue to provide tailored support to those who need it.

“This is a positive step in Somerset Care’s strategy for growth, which enables the expansion of community care services in Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset.”

Hazel Phillips, pictured, a partner at Royds Withy King specialising in health and social care, provided legal advice to Somerset Care.

She said: “We were delighted to work with the team at Somerset Care Limited on this acquisition and we really look forward to working with them on their growth plans over the coming months.”

Christie & Co senior director Simon Harvey, who handled the sale, added: “We carried out a confidential marketing campaign and received interest and offers from a wide range of purchasers. “However, Somerset Care’s position as a trusted provider and its local reputation was key in them being selected as the preferred purchaser.

“Opportunities of this nature are rare in the market, and we were delighted to be able to achieve a positive outcome for all concerned.

“There remains strong appetite for a wide range of care businesses, and we are seeing this across the region.”

Kirill Bingham, a corporate partner in the Taunton office of national law firm Clarke Willmott, acted for Way Ahead Care.

Bath-headquartered Royds Withy King, which also has offices in Oxford, Bristol and London as well as Swindon, employs 480 people providing a wide range of legal services, from corporate and commercial to family and private client, across a number of key sectors.  



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