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Phoenix Equity Partners sells Acorn Care and Education

UK mid-market private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners has reached agreement for the sale of Acorn Care and Education to Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment department of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

The consideration on the transaction is not being disclosed.
Acorn provides education and care for vulnerable children and young people in England. It operates ten schools for children with special educational needs and an independent fostering agency under the Fostering Solutions brand, which recruits, trains and supports foster carers, to whom local authorities refer and place children.
Phoenix invested in Acorn in March 2005, alongside Kevin McNeany, Acorn’s founder and chairman. Steve Page was appointed as chief executive in June 2005 to lead the group’s development.

In the past five years Phoenix has assisted Acorn’s management in making 13 acquisitions, taking Acorn from two to ten schools.

Acorn schools provide care and education for more than 550 pupils and Fostering Solutions manages more than 950 foster placements from its 14 offices around the UK. 

Rothschild was appointed in late 2009 to conduct an auction process, which culminated in the sale of the business to OTPP.
James Thomas (pictured), a managing partner of Phoenix, says: “By investing substantial growth capital since 2005, and by working hard alongside Acorn’s excellent management team, we have together succeeded in establishing Acorn in its leading position. We wish the management team and teachers every success in the next phase of the company’s development.”

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