Homes Caring for Autism (HCA) is a group of ten care homes based across Somerset, North Somerset and Wiltshire, providing residential care for young adults with complex needs arising from autism. Established in 2003 by Richard Smith, the business grew to four homes and 20 placements with the support of funding from RBS.  However, in 2009 RBS changed its lending and valuation criteria and placed HCA into their Global Restructuring Group. The bank introduced HCA to Intrinsic Equity (Intrinsic), the investment vehicle of Orbis Partners, to assist the shareholders with new funding and continuing to execute their growth strategy.

Intrinsic invested for a significant minority stake, enabling HCA to fund the development of further homes in order to strategically position the business to meet the increasing demand for its specialist services. Over the eight years, Intrinsic Equity was invested, the team provided hands-on leadership and support to help the business scale its operations and establish a robust platform for growth. HCA now delivers complex care to 63 placements across ten homes and has grown turnover from £2m to £10m per annum.

Established in 1996, the buyer, Care Management Group (CMG), has significant expertise in supporting people with learning disabilities and particularly complex needs, including autistic spectrum conditions, mental health needs, challenging behaviour, profound and multiple learning disabilities and associated complex health needs. The business has over 120 service locations across England and Wales.

We had a range of serious offers from credible acquirers; CMG was carefully selected to continue the work we had started and provide long-term support to the people HCA care for.

Richard Smith, Founder, Homes Caring for Autism


Orbis, along with Intrinsic, had worked with HCA for a number of years before the instigation of the sale process, holding board positions within the company and providing strategic and operational input. With this detailed background knowledge, Orbis were able to secure offers from a number of buyers and delivered a great deal for the business and its shareholders.

Specifically, Orbis:

  • Utilised their detailed knowledge of the business to identify appropriate potential buyers.
  • Assisted the shareholders to select a strong strategic buyer which they believed would maintain the standards and values of the current business as well as delivering an acceptable price for the shareholders.
  • Managed the preparation and flow of information throughout the diligence process to ensure commercially sensitive information was safeguarded.
  • Prepared in-depth working capital and net debt analysis to maximise net proceeds at
  • Assisted with negotiating key commercial and financial aspects of the legal documents to ensure the successful completion of the deal.
  • Ensured effective liaison and communication between both parties and their advisors throughout the deal process to deliver a successful outcome.
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The statutory directors of Orbis Partners Ltd are Chris Gregory, James Grenfell, Gary Ecob and Shah Zaki.