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Britain’s biggest nursery group Busy Bees bought by Canadian pension fund

Article By: Julia Corbett, News Editor

Busy Bees Nursery Group has been sold to one of the world’s largest pension fund managers, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, after being up for sale since July.

The pension fund managers, known as Teachers' Private Capital (TPC), completed the acquisition with Busy Bees management to obtain the childcare provider which currently runs 213 nurseries and employ 7,000 members of staff.

The Busy Bees management team, which include original founders, will remain shareholders in the business as part of the deal and have welcomed Teachers’ Private Capital as their new partners.

Marg Randles co-founder and managing director of Busy Bees said: “We are delighted to be working with Teachers’ as we feel there is a natural synergy between the two companies in terms of quality and integrity.

"We share the same vision and ambition for the future and together we will strive to provide even more quality childcare for more families across the UK.

“Our success at Busy Bees is due to our commitment to delivering a sustainable quality service for children and families, and the amazingly dedicated, hardworking staff teams within our nurseries. We have a very experienced senior management team (as well as a National Support Centre) who are well-rehearsed in dealing with changes to ownership and we are excited by the opportunities our new partners will provide.

“Our focus, as always, will be to support the staff within our nurseries to continue to deliver exceptional childcare and be proud of the amazing work they do with children every day. At Busy Bees nurseries it’s very much business as usual.”

Busy Bees was set up by six teachers in 1983 who wanted to create a quality nursery after identifying a lack of good childcare provision for their own children, and has grown to become the UK’s biggest childcare group, providing care for 20,000 children under the age of five.

Teachers' Private Capital is Canada’s largest single profession pension plan, providing pensions to 303,000 retired teachers in Ontario, and reported over $129bn of net assets on 31 December 2012.

Jo Taylorm, head of Teachers' Private Capital London office said: “We invested in Busy Bees because it is the clear market leader in its field, with an iconic brand and talented, experienced team. We hope that with our support Busy Bees will be able to make quality childcare more accessible internationally through organic growth and selective new acquisitions, while maintaining the current focus on quality and innovation.

"Teachers' is pleased to partner with the UK's market leader in the childcare sector. Busy Bees is an outstanding business with good growth potential.

"Busy Bees' proven management team has a record of quality and integrity.

"We look forward to supporting their efforts to make its childcare services more widely available through developing new locations and acquiring other facilities."


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