A European long-term care home operator backed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is facing allegations of elder abuse and the misappropriation of public money, according to a new report.
The report, published by the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability and two French trade unions, the Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail and the Confédération Générale du Travaille, alleges that money from ORPEA Groupe’s facilities is being used to finance property investments rather than care.
ORPEA operates facilities across Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Switzerland. Among its 40 Luxembourg-based acquisitions, just three are included in its latest disclosure statements, according to the report, which calls for an immediate review of ORPEA’s finances and operational performance.
It also accused ORPEA of using offshore intermediaries in its acquisition of properties. In one case, payment for a French care home acquired by ORPEA was delivered to shell companies in Panama and the British Virgin Islands, according to the report. Other recent ORPEA property transactions involving offshore intermediaries are already under investigation by French authorities.
“Long-term care residents have suffered untold harm and neglect during the pandemic because of cost-cutting by multinational corporations who only care about profit,” said Candace Rennick, national secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, in a press release in response to the report.
The CPPIB purchased a 15 per cent stake stake in the business from its founder Jean-Claude Marian for €320.8 million in 2013. The investment organization didn’t respond to the Canadian Investment Review‘s request for comment.