Monday, July 22, 2024

Revenue moves to wind up unit of Aperee nursing home group

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The chain was plunged into controversy last year, and it’s not known how the move by Revenue might impact the business.

Paul Kingston, the chief executive of the group, who led a buyout of the chain last year backed by other investors, declined to comment.

Revenue filed a petition last week to wind up Aperee Ltd, of which Mr Kingston is a director. The petition is due to be heard in the High Court on July 29.

Aperee Ltd’s most recent publicly-filed accounts, for 2019, state that the principal activity of the firm is the management of residential care homes for the elderly.

Mr Kingston was chief executive of the Aperee business until 2022, before returning to the role last year following the chain’s acquisition.

The Aperee business, originally founded by Cork-based investment firm Blackbee, had a tumultuous year in 2023.

Three of its nursing homes – which were included in last year’s sale – had their registration cancelled following inspections by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

Those nursing homes were at Callan in Co Kilkenny, Ballygunner in Co Waterford and Belgooly in Co Cork. The HSE assumed control of the nursing home in Co Kilkenny, while the other two were closed.

However, in March this year, staff and residents of the home in Callan were told by the HSE that the home was also closing. The HSE said it could no longer “safely provide care to residents” at the facility. That impacted 43 residents at the home.

The Hiqa report last year into the Kilkenny home found residents’ money was being used to fund operational costs at the home, and highlighted staff shortages and fire safety risks.

Hiqa inspectors also expressed serious concerns about the control of residents’ finances and fire safety risks following a visit to a Co Galway nursing home owned by the Aperee group.

In 2022, Blackbee founder David O’Shea and a number of companies related to the group initiated legal action against Mr Kingston and Aperee chief financial officer Hazel O’Connor, seeking declarations that the pair had no legal or beneficial interest in the share capital or voting rights of Aperee Holdings.

The defendants had claimed they were entitled to 40pc of the profits of a planned deal to sell 12 of the group’s nursing homes in 2021.

The case was later settled.

The acquisition deal with Mr Kingston last year included a partially completed site in Glanmire in Cork, as well as a site in the county that had planning permission for a 100-bed nursing home and 47 independent living units.

“We are fully committed to providing the highest standards of care to all residents at the nursing homes we have acquired, prioritising excellent clinical support, dedicated personal care, companionship, daily activities and community events,” said Mr Kingston at the time of the acquisition last year.

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