Gresham sells Busy Bees for £71m

Busy Bees, the nurseries and childcare company, has been sold in a deal worth £71m.

Gresham Private Equity, which invested in the company in February 2000, has exited from the company through a sale to Australian company ABC Learning Centres Ltd.

The private equity company has made a return of over three and half times its initial investment.

Gresham has established a debt and equity funding package for ABC, totalling a potential £50m for the deal, £27m of this had been drawn down by the time of exit.

“We are delighted that ABC Learning Centres recognised Busy Bees as a very high quality business in the UK childcare market,” said James Barbour-Smith, director at Gresham.

“They approached us to sell the company to them as their preferred move into the UK market.”

Busy Bees, founded in 1983 by three families, has established a leading position in the UK childcare market with 46 centres nationwide.

It has two principle operating businesses, nurseries and childcare Vouchers.

Busy Bees is the fifth successful exit achieved by Gresham in the last six weeks, the others being Whitworths, Blue Group, Individual Restaurant Company and Target Express

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006


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