Dunedin underwrites

Dunedin Capital Partners, the UK mid-market private equity house, backed the management buyout of Shropshire-based New Horizons (Childcare) Holdings, a provider of residential childcare services. The investment supports the management team’s acquisition of the business and provides further finance for growth. Dunedin underwrote the whole deal, including a debt facility, to ensure the transaction completed within an agreed timescale. “The provision of the whole of the external funding requirement allowed us to complete the transaction in a short timeframe and meet the expectations of all parties,” said Dunedin’s Duncan Macrae, who co-led the deal and has joined the company as a non-executive director.

Dougal Bennett of Dunedin led and structured the transaction along with Macrae. New Horizons is a provider of residential childcare services for emotionally and behaviourally challenged children. It operates 10 homes with living accommodation for 30 children.

Managing director Simon Westwood joined the company in February 2004. He worked previously as assistant director of children’s services for Birmingham Council, where he was responsible for 1,400 staff.

Executive chairwoman Thelma Turner set up her own residential care home business in 1997, which she sold to Paragon Healthcare in 2002. John Adey has also joined the board as a non-executive director. He was formerly chief executive of Baxters Healthcare and the National Blood Authority, and is currently deputy chairman of the Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust.

Kroll Corporate Finance was adviser to the vendors of New Horizons. Wragge and Co provided legal advice to Dunedin.