Christie + Co advises on ‘nursery deal of the decade’
22 August 2012
Busy Bees, the UK’s largest nursery provider, has acquired Just Learning Nurseries in a deal in which specialist property advisers Christie + Co were invited to provide valuation and property advice.
Just Learning Nurseries, the third largest nursery group in the UK, operates 71 children’s day nurseries with nearly 6,700 places. This acquisition firmly reinforces Busy Bees as the largest UK nursery provider, with 214 nurseries, providing just shy of 19,600 places.
Just Learning was established in 1995 by Michael Fallon MP and Duncan Bannatyne. In December 2001, Duncan Bannatyne’s shareholding in the business was acquired in a £22 million management buyout financed by the private equity company, Alchemy Partners. Subsequently, the nursery group expanded rapidly via organic developments. In June 2003, Just Learning acquired Careshare for £17.25 million, a ground-breaking deal, in monetary terms, in the nursery sector at the time.
More recently, in October 2009, Just Learning acquired NuNu nurseries, in a deal reported to be in excess of £7m. NuNu, comprised a portfolio of 10 nurseries situated in cluster groups predominantly across Cheshire, the North West and Midlands.
Christie + Co’s Director of Childcare Courteney Donaldson says: “We were delighted to be appointed to act as valuation and property advisers in this extremely significant deal for the nursery sector. In my view this is the most significant nursery deal of the decade and underpins what is fast becoming a monumental year for the sector.
“Christie + Co’s specialist team have pivotal to many of this year’s major nursery deals, including the sale of both Casterbridge Nurseries, Early Years Childcare (again to Busy Bees) and what is, arguably Britain’s premier single nursery — the 224-registered Rainbow Nursery in Chertsey, Surrey.”
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For further information on this press release, please contact Peter Fermoy, head of media relations, Christie + Co on 020 7227 0794 or email@example.com .