OMERS Private Equity has acquired August Equity’s specialist care provider Lifeways Community Care in a deal worth around £210 million.
OMERs is the second Canadian pension fund to make a high profile investment in the UK’s social care sector, following Teachers’ Private Capital’s acquisition of Acorn Education in January 2010.
The terms of the deal were not released, but market sources place the value of the transaction at close to £210 million, representing a multiple of just over 10x.
August Equity is understood to have also received bids from Care UK’s owner, Bridgepoint Capital, TA Associates and Russia’s Pamplona Capital Partners.
August paid £46 million for Lifeways in 2007 and has backed a number of acquisitions for the group.
Lifeways is a provider of supported living services for adults with learning disabilities. August Equity backed Lifeways and Paul Marriner (pictured) as chief executive in 2007 following a direct approach to the business. Since then Lifeways has grown from supporting 900 service users to now over 3,700 and has completed 11 acquisitions.
The management will remain the same under the terms of the deal.
In a statement, Paul Marriner, said: “The development under August Equity’s ownership has been transformational for the business. August Equity has been an ambitious and proactive investor and has fully supported the management team in developing the business so effectively over the last five years. We are excited by the future and opportunities that are in front of us.”
Aatif Hassan, August Equity partner, added: “We are very proud of the growth, reputation and excellent management team in Lifeways. Not only have we consolidated Lifeways as a clear market-leader but we have positioned the business for rapid growth, whilst maintaining its high standard of care. The company is now in a position to move onto the next stage of its development and we wish the team every success in the future.”
Philip Rattle, August Equity managing partner, commented: “The Lifeways exit is the ninth from our August Equity Partners I fund and we are very pleased that our commitment to the business has been rewarded with an excellent return to our investors.”