The Rise Fund and Investcorp to Make Majority Investment in Outcomes First Group

12 Dec 2023

Impact-driven investments to enhance OFG’s clinical capabilities and best-in-class care

The Rise Fund, TPG’s multi-sector global impact investing strategy, and Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment firm, today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement together with Stirling Square Capital Partners to acquire a majority investment in Outcomes First Group (“OFG”), a United Kingdom-based provider of best-in-class education to young people and adults with autism, learning disabilities, and other complex Special Education Needs (“SEN”). The Rise Fund is making a majority investment in OFG with Investcorp making a minority investment.

OFG is one of the UK’s leading SEN providers, operating 56 high quality schools that serve over 3,000 students between 3-25 years of age.

“Outcomes First Group expands access to high-quality education for a neuro-diverse population at a time when there is a growing demand and a demonstrated need for impact-driven organizations that prioritize the highest standards of education, therapeutic care, and deep operational engagement. Our investments are predicated on our ability to achieve quantifiable impact and positive outcomes alongside strong business performance – OFG has proven its ability to deliver on all of these goals simultaneously. We look forward to working with the team to enhance their clinical capabilities and we are committed to providing their students with the highest standards of education and care,” said Hichem Omezzine, Business Unit Partner at The Rise Funds.

Investcorp’s Head of European Private Equity, Gilbert Kamieniecky added, “We are looking forward to beginning this new partnership with OFG together with The Rise Fund, united by our shared commitment to excellence and innovation. Investcorp has a proven track record of helping educational organizations develop and grow and we hope to bring this experience to bear at OFG. OFG performs an important service and with the backing of Investcorp, OFG will be able to do more for those in its care and help address demand for special education services. This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity to leverage our collective expertise and resources to make a significant positive impact on the lives of children, young people, and adults in the UK and around the world.”

The investment is consistent with The Rise Fund and Investcorp’s longstanding focus on driving positive social impact and improved access to quality services across the education and healthcare industries. The quality of OFG’s offering can deliver impact through a variety of pathways, including improving students’ educational and health outcomes, increasing productivity and employment for parents of OFG students, cost savings for the community, and skills development that increases employment and future earnings potential among OFG pupils and graduates. OFG has a proud record of enabling children to reach their full potential with 100% of leavers going on to Employment, Education, or Training versus a national average of 88%.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for Outcomes First Group,” said David Leatherbarrow, CEO of Outcomes First Group. “The Rise Fund shares our deep commitment to delivering the highest quality services to Special Education Needs students. I know that our team and our students will benefit tremendously from The Rise Fund’s rigorous impact assessment capabilities, behavioral health expertise, and commitment to operational excellence. We are grateful to Stirling Square for their partnership, putting OFG on strong footing from which we can launch our next phase of growth with The Rise Fund and Investcorp.”

Stirling Square Capital Partners acquired OFG in 2019 with the commitment to creating a network of top Ofsted-rated schools with sector-leading capabilities and consistent delivery of high-quality education.

“We are extremely proud of our achievements with OFG. It was a great pleasure partnering with David, Jean-Luc, and the entire team who have performed exceptionally, establishing OFG as a leader in the sector, expanding access across the UK to top-rated, specialized education,” commented Jonathan Heathcote, Partner at Stirling Square, while Christopher Heine, Principal at Stirling Square, added, “Applying our deep sector expertise in education, and our operational practices, we worked closely with management to strengthen OFG’s unique capabilities – institutionalizing governance and quality processes, as well as transforming the Group into a tech-enabled and growing business. We look forward to following Outcomes First’s continued success with The Rise Fund.” 

The Rise Fund’s investment in OFG aligns with its global thematic focus on mental health and special education and its commitment to delivering positive outcomes for underserved populations. This commitment has been expressed through other The Rise Fund investments, including PresenceLearning, an online speech and occupational therapy, behavioral and mental health services, and software provider; and Banyan Treatment Centers, a US-based provider of substance use disorder services.

Likewise, Investcorp has a proven track record of investing in the education sector with investments including GL Education, one of the leading providers of educational assessments globally.

Investcorp Capital plc, provider of capital and capital financing services in the alternative investments space, will underwrite Investcorp’s investment.

Moelis & Company served as financial advisor to The Rise Fund and Investcorp in relation to the transaction. Ropes & Gray and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher served as legal counsel to The Rise Fund and Investcorp respectively. Rothschild served as financial advisor and Milbank and Fried Frank served as legal counsel to Stirling Square. DLA Piper served as legal advisor and Jamieson Corporate Finance as financial advisors to management.