LONDON, April 6 Heavily indebted British care-home operator Four Seasons Health Care said it has appointed Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) as financial adviser, in a move that may lead to the company's sale.
Deutsche will "assist the group to explore options" to cope with its capital structure problems, said Four Seasons, which was bought by the Qatar Investment Authority in 2006, via an investment vehicle managed by Three Delta.
"It is now appropriate to explore and develop alternative strategic options, including a sale of the group, in the event that agreement on a consensual restructuring cannot be reached," the group said on Monday.
Four Seasons has about 1.5 billion pounds ($2.24 billion) of debt, but recorded earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of just 100 million pounds in 2008, not enough to service its debts.
Earlier this year, the company secured a standstill agreement with creditors, preventing them from demanding their money back until May 5.
"A consensual restructuring of its debt that delivers a robust capital structure remains the group's preferred solution," Four Seasons said.
Deutsche Bank did not immediately have comment. Three Delta declined to comment.
(Additional reporting by Victoria Howley) ($1=.6702 Pound)