Orbis Education & Care has acquired Sunlight Education Nucleus, a special educational needs schools operator, from Puma Private Equity.

Following the deal, Orbis Education chief executive Suzanne Lawrence and chief financial officer Andrew Brown have joined Sunlight’s board of directors.

The sale ended a five-year holding period for Puma, which made a £4.7 million investment in the company in November 2017. With this exit, Puma reaped a 3.2x return on its investment.

Based in Worthing, West Sussex, Sunlight Education Nucleus operates a network of special educational needs schools across the UK.

Founded in 2006, Orbis Education & Care is a provider of lifelong education and residential services for children and young adults with complex needs associated with the autism spectrum and SEMH issues.

The company is based in Cardiff and offers community homes for adults and specialist schools and residential homes for children, providing education, care and in-house therapeutic support. Orbis employs over 800 people across 17 services in South & Mid Wales. It generated revenue of £27 million and operating profit of £4.7 million in the year ended in August 2021.

August Equity invested in the company in 2016, acquiring a majority stake for around £28 million, according to press reports.

Date Published: 18 May 2022

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