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…

CMA clearance for child fostering mergers

Last year saw the CMA’s first review of a merger in child fostering services. These businesses place children with foster parents when a local authority cannot place a child using its own in-house service. The merger was cleared on the condition that services were divested in three regions. Now, with two fostering services businesses (Core…

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Guides, White Papers & Research

Buy-and-Build Strategies: Managing the risk of UK Competition and Markets Authority intervention

This paper draws on our experience as former competition regulators, and our research on buy-and-builds, to identify opportunities that can mitigate the risk of CMA intervention for these platforms.

It contains practical advice around:

  • The likelihood of deals being called-in by the CMA
  • Influencing the CMA’s view of a market
  • How to best engage with the CMA
  • Drivers of CMA review costs

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