The chain, which currently owns 16 nurseries across Devon and Cornwall, plans to use the investment from ISIS Equity Partners to open a further six settings in the South West over the next two years.
The investment is the second large sum secured by the chain from ISIS, following the £1.2 million funding received in April 2012 which allowed Happy Days to open a new nursery in Peninsular Business Park in Exeter, expand its Treloweth site and relocate its Summercourt and Plymouth nurseries.
Happy Days provides 1,000 nursery places, employing 400 staff. The company, whose head office is in Summercourt, near Truro, turned over around £5 million last year.
The expansion comes at the culmination of five years of research into environments and play resources by the group. As a result, new acquisitions and changes to existing sites made by the group incorporate free flow movement between rooms, access to outdoor areas from all rooms and bespoke resources designed to encourage open-ended play.
Managing director of Happy Days Jackie Arthur said, ‘It’s a really exciting time for us. This extra investment shows confidence in the management team and in our strategy for growth.
‘We’ve made some great developments with our nurseries over the past two years and the talented team I have here is ready to go and take us to the next level.
‘All of our expansion is done on the basis of providing quality, and the board and ISIS believe in investing in this as much as we do. Thanks to this extra investment and the fabulous team we have, we will be looking to open six nurseries, and even more if we can. We’re very excited, it’s very big news for us.’
Paul Morris, a partner at ISIS, added, ‘We are delighted to continue to support Happy Days as it implements its growth strategy. The team has built a high quality business which is well positioned for further expansion and ISIS will be a supportive partner offering both experience and capital to support the team’s ambitious plans.’