largest provider in its market
registered services nationwide
children and young people using its services
The client and project
Aurora Group was established in 2015 by a team of highly experienced educators who wanted to do things differently. Their focus is on pupils with special educational needs (SEN). The team’s aim is to provide innovative, high-quality education, care and support. It’s focused on enabling all children and young people to thrive and fulfil their aspirations.
The Group’s business plan included a mix of acquiring and improving existing services. This was alongside providing new access in areas where specialist education services were needed. The goal was to convert vacant buildings for this purpose.
As a committed provider in its space, Aurora approached ORE for both funding and to work in partnership. Aurora shares our passion for customer care. The team knew we had strong experience in health and care investment, including property development. This became core to how we could help grow Aurora’s services at each site.
We take a long-term view on all our partnerships and have been there since day 1 of Aurora. We have looked to build a high-quality player who could innovate and set new standards.
Octopus Real Estate took a majority equity stake in the business. Our team also procured circa £75 million of equity and debt funding from Octopus and managed funds. Senior members of our team are also seconded to Aurora, providing input on financing, strategy, mergers and acquisitions and overall direction.
Aurora has since acquired six operating businesses. It has rolled out new services organically in vacant premises, often requiring adaption and planning changes. The Group has also planned a pipeline of new services to meet market demand.
Aurora has now grown from a start-up to one of the largest players in the UK SEN education market. Throughout it has achieved above-average quality ratings across its schools and colleges.
“There is nothing more important than improving children and young people’s lives, and ORE has supported Aurora on its journey towards becoming a provider and employer of choice in this important sector.”
Mark Costello, CEO, Aurora Group