Nursery sector consolidation continues as Kids Planet strikes another acquisition
Mon, 19.12.2022 | BUSINESS SALE
Nursery group Kids Planet has continued its acquisitive expansion with a deal to purchase the 100 place King’s Park Day Nursery in Knowsley. The deal strengthens Kids Planet’s presence in Merseyside, bringing the total number of UK daycare centers to 143, following a series of acquisitions in recent years.
Established in 2007, King’s Park is a premier preschool for children aged three months to five years. The nursery has been rated ‘Outstanding’ in its last two Ofsted inspections and is generating solid income and profits from annual fees. Since opening, significant investments have been made in the daycare center, which is housed in a two-storey building.
Since its inception in 2008, Kids Planet has grown through acquisitions to become one of the UK’s largest daycare operators, benefiting from the significant fragmentation and other M&A tailwinds in the UK daycare sector. From 2016 the company was backed by an investment of over £40m from private equity fund BGF, which has seen the group quadruple its portfolio through acquisitions in just five years.
BGF ended its investment in Kids Planet in late 2021 and sold a majority stake to investment firm Fremman in a deal that generated a 3x MM on BGF’s original investment. Fremman promised to accelerate Kids Planet’s expansion in the UK and the company has since acquired additional nursery groups in West Yorkshire and Merseyside.
Following Kids Planet’s acquisition of Waverton Day Nurseries from the Merseyside group in October 2022, Setfords’ Helen Wong, who led the sale process, commented that deals in the UK nursery sector had risen to an “unprecedented” level in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wong added that this is expected to increase further as owners face mounting selling pressure due to factors such as “economic uncertainty, rising utility costs, staff shortages and the jitters of a looming recession.”
Clare Roberts, CEO of Kids Planet, commented on the acquisition of King’s Park: “Your addition to our Kids Planet family strengthens our presence and support network in the Merseyside region and means we now have a group of 143 nurseries in are all of Britain.”
Christie & Co’s Nick Brown and Sofia Beck handled the deal, with Brown saying that King’s Park “has all the attributes that buyers are looking for. This nursery is first class inside and out with a strong on site management team.”
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