Housing market difficulties force emergency meeting with bankers Rothschild to discuss ways to restructure debt

Retirement homes specialist McCarthy & Stone has called in bankers NM Rothschild to restructure its £800m debt, according to the Independent on Sunday.

McCarthy & Stone chief executive Howard Phillips
The board and representatives of leading shareholders held an emergency meeting with Rothschild on Wednesday to discuss how to avoid breaching debt covenants, the paper said.

Possible moves are thought to include delaying key repayment dates, which run from 2012 to 2014.

The £458m-turnover business has been hit hard by the troubles in the housing market in recent weeks. Last month, it announced it was axing up to 10% of staff and scaling back on its regional operations.

HBOS, which owns 20% of the firm as well as shares in Miller and Crest Nicholson, is now under pressure from shareholders to reveal details about its exposure to the embattled housebuilding sector.