08 August 2017 | Childcare & Education

Christie & Co sell Toybox Nursery, Great Denham in Bedfordshire to Busy Bees

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co have sold Toybox Day Nursery, which is located in Great Denham, Bedfordshire, to Busy Bees Holdings.

Sign up & receive email alerts Sign up now
The exceptional purpose built detached nursery was founded from a brown field site where the previous owners Chris and Jackie Townson designed and built this nursery from scratch, this enabled them to design the nursery in a way which from their experience would create an ideal environment for the large numbers of children that would hopefully be attending. Since opening, this nursery has gone from strength to strength soon attaining ‘Outstanding status rating’ from Ofsted and boasting occupancy and waiting lists which most nurseries would be delighted to have.

The nursery has now been acquired by Busy Bees Holdings Limited who see ‘Toybox’ as a market leading day nursery and an ideal addition to their growing portfolio of 320+ settings across the country. Christie & Co work closely with Busy Bees having recently worked with them on their purchase of Bramleys Nursery Group.

Chris and Jackie Townson, the now former owners, comment “The decision to sell the business you have spent so long nurturing and developing is always a bitter-sweet moment. For us the key was to ensure that for our fantastic staff and parents nothing really changes and that Toybox would continue to be successful. Having spoken to several agents, it was clear from our conversation with Nick Brown from Christie & Co, that he understood our objectives better than anyone. He listened to our very narrow brief, accepting without question the type of buyer we wanted and then carefully marketed our nursery.

“We were humbled by the list of interested parties and after discussions with a shortlist of buyers, we chose Busy Bees to progress the project with, who really have been exceptional to do business with. To complete a sale in just 6 weeks was incredible, especially as we were on holiday for just over 2 weeks in that time! The very friendly and professional approach of all parties allowed us to enjoy our last days in the sector and vitally for us to say goodbye to our staff in the right way, with the knowledge they would be looked after.”

Cheryl Creaser, Chief Operating Officer for Busy Bees comments, “This nursery is a wonderful addition for us. It's providing ‘Outstanding’ care and has a great reputation in the community and a longstanding, professional team in place. These are our main considerations as we continue to build our UK portfolio, which Nick and the team at Christie & Co fully understand. We are delighted that, due to the professionalism and consideration on both sides, we were able to complete in such a short time. We are now really looking forward to working with the nursery team and continuing to provide better outcomes for young children.” 



Nick Brown, Associate Childcare Director at Christie & Co adds, “I was approached by Chris and Jackie with a very clear remit on finding a buyer they felt would be the right people to take their nursery forward. After offering this unique nursery to a target list of well funded buyers in a highly confidential process, from the acceptance of the offer to completion of the sale it has taken just 6 weeks to complete the transaction. 

“This was testament to both the buyers and sellers, with preparation and the access to up to date trading data the key to making this a smooth and speedy transaction. This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive privately owned single assets to be offered for sale in 2017 which is why interest was high from both UK and European operators and an exceptional sale price was achieved.

“The sale is another good example of how the demand for the highest quality settings is driving prices forward and with the sector been seen as resilient, the demand across the UK is at an all time high.”