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Hands’s Terra Firma Said to Plan $1.3 Billion Four Seasons Deal

Terra Firma CIO Guy Hands
Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd. Chairman and Chief Investment Officer Guy Hands. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd., the private-equity firm founded by Guy Hands, is close to an agreement to buy U.K. care homes operator Four Seasons Health Care Group Ltd., a person with knowledge of the talks said.

The London-based leveraged-buyout firm may pay about 820 million pounds ($1.33 billion) for control of the health-care provider, said the person, who declined to be identified because an agreement hasn’t been finalized. An announcement is expected tomorrow, the Sunday Times reported today.

Terra Firma’s purchase of Four Seasons Health Care would be the firm’s biggest acquisition since it ceded control of British music label EMI Group Ltd. in February 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The U.K. care homes company was bought in 2006 by Qatari-backed Three Delta LLP and then taken over by lenders including Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Its shareholders were considering bids as part of negotiations with debtholders.

Hands has said he would target clean-energy and agricultural investments after losing almost a third of his London-based firm’s most recent 5.4 billion-euro ($7.2 billion) buyout fund on EMI, which Citigroup Inc., its lender, sold in November. Terra Firma last month agreed to buy the Garden Centre Group, which sells plants and vegetables in 129 stores throughout the U.K., for 276 million pounds.

A spokeswoman for Four Seasons and a spokesman for Terra Firma both declined to comment.

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