Phoenix announces sale of Just Childcare to Partou

Phoenix Equity Partners ("Phoenix") today announces that it has sold Just Childcare, a leading owner and operator of nurseries headquartered in the North West of England, to Partou, the largest nursery group in the Netherlands. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Since investing in Just Childcare, Phoenix has worked closely with founders David and Jacqueline Johnson and the team to support them in realising their vision of building a nursery group of scale focused on delivering outstanding care. The group has since expanded rapidly, completing 32 acquisitions and growing from seven nurseries in 2015 to 62 nurseries today across the North West, Yorkshire and South West of England. Significant investment has been made in people, resources and infrastructure, while maintaining focus on the highest quality of care. The group now provides over 4,700 early years childcare places and employs nearly 1,300 staff, establishing it as one of the largest childcare providers in the UK.

The investment by Partou will enable the continued expansion of the Just Childcare group in the UK.

The successful exit of Just Childcare is Phoenix’s second exit in the past month and marks the final realisation from Phoenix’s 2010 Fund.

David Johnson, CEO of Just Childcare, said: “Phoenix’s support has been invaluable over the past six years. They helped our vision become reality, providing us with the expertise and resources to grow the Just Childcare group substantially, into one of the largest childcare providers in the UK. We are grateful to the team for sharing our ambitious plans for the business.”

Barry Robinson, Partner at Phoenix, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support David and Jaqueline on their journey to create one of the country’s leading nursery operators. Just Childcare has experienced fantastic growth and, with the support of Partou, it is well-positioned to continue to fulfil its mission to deliver outstanding early years childcare in the UK. We wish the team all the best for the future.”