Southern Cross Denies Home Closures, Talking to Landlords

Southern Cross Healthcare Group Plc, the U.K’s largest care home operator, denied reports that it had decided to close some homes because of financial difficulties.

“No residents will find themselves homeless or without care,” the Darlington, northern England-based company said in a statement today. “Everyone involved in the restructuring process is, and remains, committed to the continuity of quality care for all of our 31,000 residents.”

Southern Cross, which wants a four-month moratorium on its rental payments to help avoid collapse, remains in discussions with its landlords and banks, it said in the statement. The company is looking to axe 3,000 jobs by October from its workforce of 44,000 employees, Southern Cross said June 8.

Southern Cross plans to hand 132 homes back to landlords by the end of September, the Financial Times said earlier today, citing company documents circulated to landlords.

The shares were down 0.2 pence, or 3.9 percent, to 4.9 pence at 2:31 p.m. in London, extending the decline over the past year to 89 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net.

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