Stories of Growth

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If you leave people uncertain for too long, they don't feel part of anything

Clare Roberts, CEO of Kids Planet
Education | North West

Clare Roberts founded Kids Planet in 2008 after she struggled to find appropriate childcare following the birth of her first daughter. She quit her job in the pharmaceutical industry and launched Kids Planet alongside her father John Hoban, who had previously run and sold a successful nursery chain, and sister Lucy Kaczmarska. The business began with two nurseries in Warrington and Widnes.

The business is renowned for providing a market-leading quality of care. In March 2021, Kids Planet was ranked number 1 in the country for quality based on its Ofsted rankings by Nursery World. It has 82 sites and is responsible for the education of over 7,500 children, making it one of the largest nursery groups in the UK.

BGF joined forces with Kids Planet in August 2016 providing £10 million of growth capital to support an organic and acquisitive growth strategy. Over the last five years, BGF has made a series of follow-on investments worth in excess of £30 million. The funding has supported a number of acquisitions which have expanded the roll-out of Kids Planet’s day-care centres and increased the regional footprint of the business across the North West and into the Midlands.

In late 2021, BGF announced a highly successful exit of its investment in Kids Planet, increasing EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, from £3.5 million to £15 million and delivering a 3x money multiple on BGF’s initial investment.

Kids Planet was acquired by Fremman Capital, a pan-European mid-market investment firm. As part of the deal, BGF has re-invested alongside Fremman Capital and will continue to back the company as a minority shareholder, helping to accelerate the national expansion of Kids Planet as it looks ahead to more acquisitions in the coming months.

BGF & Kids Planet

BGF initially invested £10m into Kids Planet in 2016 to support acquisitions and nursery fit-outs.

As a result of our partnership with BGF, we’ve scaled significantly, launched our own training academy and acquired one of our key competitors – all of which has allowed us to take the business to the next level.