This well-established profitable nursery group, which is renowned for providing high-quality childcare from six exceptional settings all situated in various high profile locations across West Sussex, offers an effective operating capacity for circa 312 children.
Since establishing the group in 2006, its former owners Mrs Antonia and Mr Mark Ogden-Meade have grown the business into one of the area’s leading childcare providers. Mrs Ogden-Meade has worked in quality and performance for over 20 years, as well as achieving Ofsted inspector status. She has built an exceptional management team at A Step Ahead Nurseries
which now heads up the day-to-day running of the settings.
She comments, “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved in A Step Ahead Ltd. Working with such a talented team and lovely families has been a privilege. I look forward to seeing the company grow and feel genuinely excited for everyone knowing that David and his team are just as child focused as we have been and there will be some amazing opportunities to develop the company even further over the next few years.“
A Step Ahead acquisition has led Ann Education, an expanding childcare operator which has recently appointed Mr David Hancock as its CEO to help build on this platform acquisition.
Mr Hancock, former MD of Treetops Nurseries and CEO, responsible for the successful turnaround and sale of Little Garden Day Nurseries in 2019, comments, “The team at Ann Education has worked really hard through some very difficult conditions to get this deal agreed, my input was minimal towards the end of the transaction, so they are the stars. However, I would like to thank the sellers, Antonia and Mark, for their pragmatism and Nick at Christie & Co for his invaluable support through the transaction – any acquisition process can be very testing, add the Covid effect into the mix and things become very tough – we got there, with the support of some great people”
Nick Brown, Head of Brokerage at Christie & Co, comments, “This has been some journey but one that has been worth all the time and effort which everyone has put into this deal. Mark and Antonia have been a pleasure to work for and we would like to wish them all the best for the future.
“David Hancock has also been super helpful in getting this deal over the line and we would also like to wish him all the best in building on this exciting initial acquisition.
“I would also like to thank Mark Traynor and the team at TLT solicitors for their persistence and the legal team from Philip Ross for playing their part in completing this transaction.
“This has been a highly confidential sale which has come with its challenges around extension of leases, deal structure and a number of properties but everyone connected to this transaction has been patient and worked through all of the challenges which have presented themselves.
“Both myself and Sophie Willcox are delighted that we have been able to complete another group transaction in what are undoubtedly testing times for many sectors but the resilient nature of the Childcare sector and the longer term view is that buyers are taking via acquisitions which are happening now is very encouraging for the sector as a whole.”
A Step Ahead Nurseries was sold at an undisclosed price.
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