Case studies

Brindley Healthcare: A growing network of Irish care homes

7 August 2020

Brindley Healthcare founder Amanda Torrens was working in healthcare in Northern Ireland when she had a business idea that would see her return to her native Donegal. “I realised that there weren’t any purpose-built, private nursing homes in Donegal so I took a day off work and went to look for a site for a nursing home,” she explains.

Amanda found the perfect spot and decided to go for it, leaving her previous job and acquiring the land to build a 35-bed nursing home in Convoy in the East of the County. A second home was developed in Buncrana and a third site followed soon after – all with a focus on quality of care. “I travelled to Sweden to design our third home, which was specifically built to cater for those with dementia, alzheimer’s and brain injuries,” she explains. “People with a brain disorder struggle to cope with noise and larger crowds, so we built smaller common spaces and avoided lots of corners which can be confusing.”

Unlocking Brindley Healthcare’s potential with minority capital

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Invested in January 2019

After the group expanded to include homes across Mayo, Galway and Kildare – some suggested that Amanda should sell the group. “I made the decision not to sell and so my bank suggested I bring on an equity partner to fulfil my growth plans,” says Amanda. “We put together an information memorandum and put it in the hands of five potential investors.”

Amanda chose BGF and in January 2019, Brindley Healthcare became BGF’s first investment in the Republic of Ireland, investing €10 million to support growth. “I wanted a partner that wasn’t only interested in the money and would be mindful of the care we provide,” she explains. “This combined with the fact that BGF were in for the long-haul, with no immediate exit plans – convinced me that they were the right choice.”

With BGF’s investment, Brindley made two acquisitions increasing the number of homes in the portfolio to 10. Through its network, BGF helped introduce experienced executive and former Irish Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney who joined the board.

“I can’t speak highly enough of BGF. At every stage, they were supportive and enthusiastic for our plans.”
Amanda Torrens, Founder of Brindley Healthcare

In September of 2020, French multinational Orpea (now emeis), a leading European operator in dependency care, acquired a 50% share in Brindley. As a result, BGF exited its first investment in the Republic of Ireland.

Leo Casey, Head of BGF in Ireland shares “We were delighted to be able to support Amanda Torrens and her team on their ambitious growth agenda over the past two years. Typically, our investments are for longer terms than is the case in this instance but in BGF we also don’t stand in the way of our investee companies when the right exit comes around. In Orpea, Brindley have attracted a highly credible international operator that will underpin their leadership position in the Irish market.”