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Kids Planet acquires Poppy & Jack’s nursery group

BGF News 26.07.2021.
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BGF-backed Kids Planet has acquired North West-based nursery group, Poppy & Jack’s as the fast-growth business continues its rapid expansion and ongoing focus on providing outstanding care for children.

Poppy & Jack’s was backed by Foresight Group – the infrastructure and regional private equity investment manager – which exits as part of the deal.

Kids Planet now has 75 nurseries across the North West and Midlands, providing care to more than 10,000 children. It received £10m initial investment from BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, in 2016 when it had 17 nurseries.

BGF has invested a further £15 million, taking its total to £41m to support recent acquisitions and this is the business’ fifth follow-on investment which has supported its ambitious plans for long-term growth.

Kids Planet was founded in 2008 by CEO Clare Roberts and her father John, who is Chair. Clare’s sister, Lucy Kaczmarska joined as Childcare Director in 2013. The business has more than quadrupled its footprint in the past five years through acquisitions and development opportunities. This deal follows Kids Planet’s acquisition of Learning Curve last month with five nurseries and out of school clubs across Lytham St Anne’s and Blackpool.

Clare Roberts, Kids Planet Chief Executive, said: “Poppy & Jack’s is a nursery group with the same mission and values as our own. It’s a natural fit for our expanding portfolio and we look forward to working with the teams. At Kids Planet, we provide the best possible start for children and are excited to continue to welcome children and parents to the fantastic settings. We are very much looking forward to providing an outstanding level of childcare that is our hallmark.”

With a stronghold in the North West, Kids Planet has recently opened five nurseries in North and Central Oxford, and Headington following a rigorous tender process by the University of Oxford. Alongside significant growth, the Kids Planet runs its own training academy delivering qualifications from apprenticeships to master’s degrees to enable the team to achieve the outstanding standard of childcare the group is known for.

Sarah Bellamy, CEO of Poppy & Jack’s, said: “Over the last few years, we have successfully grown through acquisition. After nurturing the business to this point, it was so important to us to find the best possible home for the future of Poppy & Jack’s. Clare and the team at Kids Planet are the perfect guardians to take the group through its next stage of growth.”

Pinesh Mehta from BGF added: “This is a fantastic deal for all involved as Kids Planet continues with its successful expansion and proven acquisition strategy. There’s still significant potential across the UK as the business continues to expand in the North West and beyond.”