Only About Children to be sold to US based Bright Horizons Family Solution in A$450m deal

Only About Children to be sold to US based Bright Horizons Family Solution in A$450m deal

by Jason Roberts

May 04, 2022

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Only About Children (OAC) will be sold to US based Bright Horizons Family Solutions for A$450 million (approximately US$320 million) according to a release from the company. 

 

The deal will see ownership of the Sydney based provider transfer from global private equity house Bain Capital, who acquired a majority stake in OAC in 2016, to Bright Horizons, one of the largest providers of corporate ECEC services in the world. 

 

“We are excited to welcome Only About Children to the Bright Horizons family,” said Bright Horizons CEO Stephen Kramer. “We have long been interested in Australia as an attractive market for high-quality child care, with strong demand from working parents, an established funding support system, and a long runway for growth and expansion.”

 

“OAC has a well-established reputation for excellent child care services, an innovative approach to early childhood development and thought leadership in the field,” Mr Kramer continued, “OAC also shares our purpose-driven mission with a deep commitment to supporting children and families across Australia. 

 

“We are excited to work together to extend OAC’s impact in Australia.”

 

Bright Horizons is a major provider of corporate ECEC services which it delivers through facilities and premises located at employer workplaces. It is also active in back up care and emergency care services as well as workforce education programs.

 

The company operates approximately 1,000 centres across the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and India, and serves more than 1,350 of the world’s leading employers.

 

The acquisition of OAC will be the Bright Horizons first commitment in Australia and also the first commitment to a provider that specialises in centre based long day care provision.

 

Bright Horizons will pay A$450 million with $300 million upon closing of the deal, expected in the third quarter 2022, and a further $150 million eighteen months after closing as a deferred purchase price. 

 

OAC generated A$197 million of revenues in calendar year 2021 with the deal valuing the company at around 2.25x revenues.

 

Notably, Bain Capital, the sellers of OAC, have a long history of involvement with Bright Horizons as well having been shareholders since its founding back in 1986. Bain Capital acquired Bright Horizons outright in 2008 before successfully listing the business on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013. 

 

Bain have since exited their position in Bright Horizons completely. 

 

To learn more about Bright Horizons please click here and to read the announcement click here.  

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