GI Partners expands specialist care and education portfolio with acquisition of Advanced Childcare (UK)

GI Partners, a leading private equity firm focused on investments in asset-intensive businesses and real estate platforms, is pleased to announce the £28-million (approx. €32-million) acquisition of Advanced Childcare ('ACL').

Based in Stockport, Greater Manchester, and employing over 350 people, ACL is a leading provider of outsourced children's care and education services in the UK. ACL has a market-leading record of excellence with 25 separate awards for 'Outstanding Provider' from the Office for Standards in Education ('Ofsted'), the UK Government body responsible for regulating and inspecting facilities that provide education and care for children. ACL currently operates 30 residential care homes and a fostering service and has been awarded six regional contracts from local authorities in Manchester, Oldham, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Bradford and Blackpool.

ACL is the latest addition to GI's growing portfolio of specialist care and education companies. GI intends to use ACL as a platform to create a multiregional, industry-leading childcare services business leveraging its significant experience in the healthcare industry to date. GI already owns The Cambian Group, which it has built up through proactive management and selective acquisitions to become the UK's largest provider of specialist services in education, mental health rehabilitation and learning disabilities.

Cambian provides services for over 1,100 individuals in 60 facilities, works with 140 public authorities and employs more than 3,500 people. GI has similar growth aspirations for ACL and expects to invest additional capital through the platform.

Alfred Foglio, Managing Director of GI Partners, noted, "Advanced Childcare has pioneered the trend of managing children's care services on behalf of budget constrained local authorities with residential childcare being one of the few services that the government acknowledges is less expensive if provided by the private sector.1 GI Partners believes that ACL offers an excellent opportunity from which to build a multi-regional childcare services platform due it its combination of best-in class management team, operational excellence and achievement of the highest quality ratings in the industry."

Foglio continued, "More often than not, local government authorities are choosing to close down older or inadequately-rated facilities and use a competitive tendering process to select proven providers who are willing to invest in new buildings and high-quality care models. We believe that ACL can offer a compelling solution to local authority customers in this environment."

Riz Khan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Childcare said, "We have been working closely with GI Partners on this acquisition for a number of months and are delighted to be able to partner with them as we embark on our next phase of growth. In addition, I am very pleased that the investment for Bowmark Capital, the mid-market private equity fund that will be exiting as part of the transaction, was a success. On behalf of everyone at Advanced Childcare, we thank Bowmark for their early-stage support."

The transaction was funded by capital from GI Partners Fund III L.P. and was supported by a conservative amount of debt financing provided by Yorkshire Bank, the sister bank of Clydesdale Bank plc, through a combination of term facilities and funding for future capital expenditures.

Source: Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Related News