OMERS Private Equity has signed an agreement to acquire Lifeways, a provider of supported living services for adults with learning disabilities in the UK, from August Equity. Lifeways management will re-invest substantially alongside OMERS.
According to OMERS, the supported living market offers considerable long term growth potential and increasing barriers to entry as the social care and independence benefits of this approach become ever clearer. The UK specialist care sector is highly fragmented and presents significant opportunities for consolidation. OMERS will work with the management team to develop the business via both organic growth and acquisitions, and continue the geographic expansion of Lifeways in the UK. Lifeways will also focus on additional services and care provision which complement the core offering, such as autism, acquired brain injuries and highly complex care.
“We are delighted to be partnering with OMERS as we enter the next stage of our development. In OMERS we know we have found the right partner who shares our care-focused philosophy and enthusiasm for the industry, understands the long term investment potential of the business and recognizes the vital importance of our work to our service users. Our clients and the quality of care and support we provide are and will remain the single most important parts of our business,” said Mr. Marriner.
Lifeways is a provider of supported living services for adults with learning disabilities in the UK. Via its national network of 33 offices, Lifeways enables service users to live more independently and take control of how their care and support is planned and delivered, giving them greater empowerment over decisions affecting their lives. Lifeways supports more than 3,400 people, with over 6,300 trained staff able to offer a high level of in-house expertise and experience. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in London, UK (www.lifeways.co.uk).
“Lifeways is a business we have tracked for a long time and we are delighted to be working with Paul Marriner and his team. Lifeways perfectly fits our investment criteria: it is a market leader in every respect with a proven track record of top quality service and profitable growth both organic and via acquisitions, in a market with sound long term growth fundamentals. Looking ahead, we believe OMERS’ “patient capital” approach is ideal for providing the appropriate support to the Lifeways management team, enabling them to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in what is a fast growing, but fragmented market,” said Mark Redman, Senior Managing Director & Country Head, OMERS PE Europe.
OMERS Private Equity manages the private equity activities of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds. The group’s investment strategy includes the active ownership of businesses in North America and Europe. Sectors of interest include manufacturing, financial and business services, industrial and consumer products, transportation, and technology. Investment sizes range from $100 million to $500 million. The firm is located in Toronto offices in New York and London and has $6.5 billion of investments under management (www.omerspe.com).