National Fostering Agency / Acorn Care 1 merger inquiry

The CMA is investigating the completed acquisition by SSCP Spring Topco Limited, providing fostering services in the UK inter alia through its affiliated entity the National Fostering Agency Limited, of Acorn Care 1 Limited.

Statutory timetable

Phase 1 date Action
30 January 2017 Deadline for phase 1 decision (*)
30 November 2016 Launch of merger inquiry
1 December to 15 December 2016 Invitation to comment
8 September 2016 Initial enforcement order

(*) This date is the current statutory deadline by when the decision will be announced. If any change occurs, the information is refreshed as soon as practicable. However, the CMA cannot guarantee that the decision will be announced on or before this current deadline, as the deadline of a given case may change during the merger assessment process due to different reasons.

Phase 1

Launch of merger inquiry

30 November 2016: The CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry by notice to the parties.

Invitation to comment: closes 15 December 2016

1 December 2016: The CMA is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

Initial enforcement order

12 September 2016: On 8 September 2016, the CMA served an initial enforcement order under section 72 (2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 on Stirling Square Capital Partners LLP, Stirling Square Capital Partners Holdings Limited, Stirling Square Capital Partners Second Fund Holdings Limited and Stirling Square Capital Partners Third Fund Holdings Limited (collectively Stirling Group) and SSCP Spring Topco Limited (SSCP Spring) in relation to the completed acquisition of Acorn Care 1 Limited.

Amendments/consents granted


Please send written representations about any competition or public interest to:

Rohini / Emma Budge
Competition and Markets Authority
Victoria House
Southampton Row
WC1B 4AD /

Help us improve GOV.UK

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.