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Mears buys Scottish homecare firm for £22.5m

Mears has announced the acquisition of Scottish homecare company ILS for £22.5 million.

ILS provides community-based care services to around 3,400 users and more than 40 per cent of its work is in high acuity services. It had revenue of £24.4m in the year to 31 January 2013.

The deal involves the placing of 6.37m new ordinary shares to raise £19.7m; the balance of the deal will be funded through Mears’ existing debt facility.

It follows Mears’ purchase of Morrison Facilities Services last November in a £24m deal.

Mears chief executive David Miles said the acquisition would boost Mears’ existing care business in Scotland.

He added: “Fundamentally, the acquisition will provide Mears with the platform to provide higher acuity home services across the UK, complementing Mears’ existing care capabilities and developing the capability to offer longer-term continuing healthcare in the home – an area in which Mears does not currently operate.

“We look forward to welcoming the ILS employees into the group as we continue to build the range of broader health and social care services for our clients.”

Mr Miles had said in January that he was “disappointed that [Mears] had not completed any acquisitions in care in 2012”.

The housing repair and maintenance firm Mears saw its order book rise by £1.2 billion in 2012 following its acquisition of Morrison Facilities Services and won a third of all its social contract bids last year.

Among Mears contract wins this year was a repairs contract, revealed by Construction News in February, through which it will build 8,700 homes for Richmond Housing Partnership in a deal understood to be worth £80m.

For the 12 months to 31 January 2013, ILS generated unaudited EBITDA of £2.9m (before corporate costs) on revenues of £24.4m.

Mears said the acquisition is expected to be earnings per share-neutral in the current year and earnings per share-enhancing in the first full financial year, post-synergies.

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