Gresham Private Equity has agreed to sell childcare provider Busy Bees to Australian company ABC Learning Centres Ltd in a deal worth £71m. The exit generated a 3.6x return on Gresham's investment. Gresham first backed Busy Bees in February 2000 with a debt and equity funding package totalling a potential £50m. Of this £27m had been drawn down by the time of exit following the several acquisitions including those of Kindercare and Copperbeach Group. This exit follows a succession of exits for Gresham including most recently, the flotation of Individual Restaurant Company on AIM from which it recouped 2.3x and the sale of recruitment company Blue Group International which generated a return of 2.6x.
Charcoal and natural additives company saw final bids from two banks and one direct lender
VCs including the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, BtoV and Ringier Digital Ventures also participated
Around 40 existing and new LPs, including British Patient Capital and the EIF, participated
Fund will invest in buyouts, recapitalisations and carve-outs of both profitable and underperforming businesses