The portfolio of settings, all of which operated under individual brands, provide a total effective operating capacity of 1076 places, and assets are a combination of purpose designed settings, which include a majority of freehold settings which are located across Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.
Magic Nurseries was founded by Tom Reed in 2002 and the portfolio has steadily grown via strategic acquisitions of single sites and small regional groups, the most recent of which in August 2014.
The Magic Nurseries portfolio has been acquired by Les Petits Chaperons Rouges (‘LPCR’), France’s leading private nursery chain. Created in 2000 as the first provider of employer-sponsored childcare in France, LPCR has grown into one of the leading premium private nursery groups in Europe, serving c.12,500 children per day at more than 300 nurseries in France and Germany. LPCR’s acquisition of the Magic Nurseries portfolio represents their first UK platform investment.
Courteney Donaldson, Head of Childcare & Education at Christie & Co, commented, “We have worked with Magic Nurseries for over a decade, principally in providing formal Red Book valuations for secured lending purposes, which subsequently assisted the founders in the expansion of their portfolio. Having completed numerous high profile transactions during Q2 and Q3 2016, Tom Reed approached Christie & Co seeking confidential advice on the company’s exit strategy.”
Nick Brown, Associate Director at Christie & Co, commented, “Our specialist Childcare team was swiftly appointed to run a highly confidential sales process which drew interest from a variety of UK corporate operators, private equity houses, high net worth individuals, and several overseas entrants, including multiple parties based in China, seeking to acquire a high calibre and market leading UK platform.
“Following an eight week confidential sale process, multiple offers were received from a variety of eager potential purchasers, which culminated in Tom Reed and his fellow shareholders selecting LPCR as their preferred purchaser because of their shared cultural values and commitment to delivering exceptional services to families and children in their care.”
Tom Reed, Magic Nurseries Founder and Director who will be staying with the company said, “We are proud of the impact we have made on children and families throughout our tenure of business and we look forward to working with and supporting LPCR as they make their entrance into the UK market. The Magic portfolio has grown via acquisitions to 16 settings, over a 14 year period, during which I have worked with many business agents. When the time came for us to consider the sale of our business, Courteney Donaldson at Christie & Co was our first and only port of call. Courteney, Nick Brown and the rest of the team at Christie & Co that worked on this transaction exceeded all of our very high expectations in every capacity during this transaction. I would highly recommend their services to other nursery owners that are contemplating the sale of their business.”