Puppy dogs and rainbows? M&A and competition in UK vet care

Consolidation in the UK vet sector has continued at a remarkable pace since Aldwych Partners first reviewed the sector in October 2018. In the past 16 months, four firms, IVC Evidensia, VetPartners, Linneaus Group and Medivet, have acquired some 240 vet care businesses, accounting for nearly 500 vet practices. This represents around 10% of all…

Montreux acquires Christchurch: merger control in neuro-rehab services

The acquisition of neuro-rehabilitation provider, Christchurch Group, by Montreux Capital in December 2019 is a useful prompt for reviewing merger control risks in neuro-rehab services and wider adult specialist care. While the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has reviewed several mergers in the mental health sector in recent years (e.g. Acadia’s acquisition of Priory Group), neuro-rehab…

Children’s services: resolving tensions about the market

Leading up to Christmas 2019, the tension between competition oversight of M&A in children’s services and wider concerns about private providers of children’s services was illustrated once again. In mid-December, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) unconditionally cleared National Fostering Agency’s (NFA’s) acquisition of Outcomes First Group (OFG). But, shortly after, the Children’s Commissioner called on the Government to address…

Children’s Residential Homes – a competition risk assessment

The level of merger control risk in the children’s residential homes market is currently regarded by Aldwych Partners as low to moderate. Pockets of concentration in local markets could mean that mergers between the largest operators require divestments to secure Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) clearance. Transactions involving smaller operators with a regional focus may…