Kidsunlimited gets #12 million

Investee Company – Kidsunlimited (UK)

Investee Company Business Type – Daycare provider

Type of Financing – Expansion

Equity Providers – Friends Ivory & Sime Private Equity plc

Equity Leader (Individual) – David Sherratt, Friends Ivory & Sime Private Equity

Debt Providers – Friends Ivory & Sime Private Equity and NatWest Bank

Debt Type – N/A

Debt Leader (Individual) – Rob O’Malley of Natwest Corporate and Commercial Banking

Equity Amount – N/A

Total Deal Value – £12 million

Other Advisors – Cobbetts, Gorvin Smith Fort, PKF, KPMG Corporate Finance, Olswang, Burlington, Ernst & Young, and CIL

Comments – Kidsunlimited, a leading UK childcare and pre-school education provider, has received new funding from Friends Ivory & Sime Private Equity and the NatWest Bank in a deal worth £12 million. Friends Ivory & Sime Private Equity is providing both equity and debt financing, while NatWest Bank is providing purely debt financing on a deal that involves significant amounts of debt.

Founded in 1983 by husband-and-wife team, Jean and Stewart Pickering, Kidsunlimited’s aim is to provide the highest possible standards of nursery facilities and customer service. This is achieved through efficient management, flexibility, and award-winning training. In 1993/94 Kidsunlimited was awarded the first National Training Award to be gained by a childcare company for its work in the delivery of NVQ in Childcare and Education, throughout its nurseries.

The company is respected as innovators in pre-school education by childcare experts, and the expansion funding will allow Kidsunlimited to double the number of nurseries it has from 32 to 64 over the next five years. Jean Pickering commented: “We were the first childcare company to win National Training and RIBA awards, and Kidsunlimited is now recognised as the market leader”.

David Sherratt, an investment director who lead the deal for Friends Ivory and Sime Private Equity, commented: “We are excited to partner Kidsunlimited in supporting the growth of the business in a growing niche market which is significantly under-supplied and under-pinned by the Government’s aim of creating 1.6 million new childcare places by 2004”.