A Northern Ireland care home which was part of the beleaguered Southern Cross group has been taken over.
Ard Mhacha Care Home, which cares for around 50 people in Armagh, is one of 35 being bought by the UK's Maria Mallaband Care Group (MMCG).
MMCG said it had launched Countrywide Care Homes to manage the homes and plans to acquire another 35 sites over the next five years.
Philip Burgan, chairman and chief executive of MMCG, said: "The Southern Cross deal moves us into a new sector and our excellent staff will be working hard to impose the same high standards on the homes we are acquiring.
"I believe Countrywide Care Homes will be a valuable addition to the group."
MMCG already operates 28 'luxury' homes in the UK for private elderly care and also specialises in autism care.
Southern Cross, which was owned by private equity firm Blackstone, collapsed earlier this year.
Its 23 other homes in Northern Ireland, including Castle Lodge in Antrim, Greenhall Lodge in Londonderry and Longfield in Eglinton, are expected to be taken over by other landlords.
Four Seasons, which has 67 homes in the province and 425 in the UK, is touted to take over around 100 former Southern Cross units.
Another landlord, NHP, is forming an operating company to run 249 of Southern Cross's 750 homes.
The number of care homes that were run by Southern Cross in Northern Ireland