Esperi Goes Pop! An Uncontrolled Care Scandal

Readers will recall recent article in FinnishNews on Esperi Oy, where the private elderly care company called Esperi Oy was reported to be careless or hopeless in its duty of care for thousands of elderly patients in their care homes. 

Now the bankers to this company have kicked out the former shareholders and taken over its assets and operations to protect their loans! And the bank’s intervention just comes a few weeks after the publication of the standard of carte report when we were told that everything will be great and wonderful from now on!

Having banks and a pension company as shareholders of a care home for the elderly, most of whom are demented patients, is hardly a heart warming exercise. Banks and pension companies have no competence to manage such patients and their care homes, and that says realms about current political climate here in Finland.

Remarks from the new shareholders that they will safeguard the quality or care for all patients are hardly convincing. What can they expected to be doing to improve standards? They have huge expensive loans to the company and they will not want to be long-term shareholders. They are not in the business of owning and operating care homes, they will want to sell it off to another care investor at the highest possible price as soon as possible. 

That means they will probably want to minimise investments and operating expenses. Esperi Oy is in serious trouble, as described in the previous article. There will be very few buyers without a big discount in the selling price. This much is obvious because the financiers relieved the former shareholders before they lost even more money. And we also know that Intermediate Capital Group, (ICG), the British private equity investor must have wanted to get out as quickly as possible. It was obvious that they had no interest in making Esperi great again! They were there for a quick profit and that whole investment turned bad. 

The more important thing here is that the regulator is not stepping in to stop this type of dangerous game. They must have known what was going on already in 2016 and 2017 but did nothing. Mismanagement by these private care companies were well known then and that is not acceptable when we are talking about  of a basic public service like care of the elderly. Now the private equity investor, who should have never been there in the first place, is replaced by an even more inept owner, the banks and our biggest insurance company that have no skill sets to run this type of activity. 

Politicians should be scrutinising this type of business because, do not forget, every voter will be a customer of a carte home at some later state if they live that long. Do not forget to ask your local MP what he or she thinks about this scandal – things appear to be really out of control.

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