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Nurseries M&A Review 2023


A review of the key mergers & acquisitions across the UK nurseries and early years education sector in 2023

Our 2023 nurseries M&A review, which can be downloaded below, covers the key corporate deal activity across the day nurseries UK market during the year.



Notable Nurseries M&A Deals 2023


Acquisition of The Learning Journey by Kids Planet


  • Another successful acquisition for Kids Planet with the addition of a trio of nurseries in the West Midlands

  • The Learning Journey Group, based in Dudley, offers a combined total of 334 places for children aged 0 to 4

  • Fremman Capital-backed Kids Planet has now grown to c.170 settings across the UK through nationwide acquisitions and greenfield developments

  • The deal marked an active end to the year for Kids Planet, adding numerous settings to the group within 2023

  • We expect to see further deals from Kids Planet in 2024, as the group continues its acquisition drive with Fremman’s backing


Graphite investment into Storal


  • An interesting investment from mid-market private equity firm Graphite Capital into the nursery and pre-school operator Storal

  • Headquartered in London, Storal has a nationwide portfolio of settings, operating 26 nurseries and 2 out of school clubs, which serve over 2,000 children across the UK

  • Storal’s growth in recent years has been fuelled by an acquisition strategy focused on single site and small group settings being integrated into their platform

  • The investment will enhance Storal’s current educational provision and aid further geographical expansion across the UK


Grandir’s acquisition of nine Mama Bear Nurseries


  • A significant deal for Grandir, acquiring nine of Mama Bear’s Bristol-based nurseries

  • The Mama Bear’s nurseries have a combined total of 600 places and will be renamed under Grandir’s ‘Kiddi Caru’ branding

  • Sale of the nurseries occurred to enable Mama Bears to restructure their finances post-covid, leaving the group with 15 nurseries across Somerset, Bristol and Devon

  • Grandir, the multi brand nursery group, is now home to c.80 settings providing 6,500 childcare places across the South East, Midlands and South West regions

  • The deal will allow further expansion across South West England


Acquisition of Little Green Rascals by Old Station Nursery


  • Another deal highlighting buyer interest of quality small nursery groups, with The Old Station Nursery acquiring Little Green Rascals nursery group

  • Little Green Rascals is York's first eco-conscious and organic nursery, and has grown its portfolio to 7 sites

  • The group now caters for 1,300 families, and cares for 550 children per day across the 7 locations

  • Since joining La Maison Bleue, The Old Station Group has grown considerably, with the group now comprising c.80 settings, predominantly in the South East and West Midlands



Market Statistics 2023


Deals by size of nursery


A chart showing the split of deals based upon the size of the nurseries involved.

Individual vs group nursery deals

A pie chart showing the split of deals between individual nurseries and nursery groups.

Deals by Ofsted rating

A pie chart showing the split of nursery deals based upon the target's Ofsted rating.

Deals by region


A map showing the split of nurseries deals by region in the UK.

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