Magic Nurseries deal sees group enter top 20

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Magic Nurseries has purchased the Laurels group of nurseries, firmly placing it within the 20 largest nursery chains in the UK.

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Melton Mowbray Nursery School is one of eight Laurels nurseries bought by Magic Nurseries

The acquisition, one of the biggest within the sector so far this year, brings the total number of settings owned by Magic Nurseries to 17, offering around 1,052 places.

Based on last year’s Nursery Chains directory, Magic Nurseries is now the 16th biggest nursery chain in the UK.

The move sees the nursery group add eight settings, all in Leicestershire, to its existing nine nurseries, three of which are based in the county.

Magic Nurseries’ other settings are in Hertfordshire, Cambridge and Northampton. The nursery group is owned by Tom Reed.

News of the acquisition comes after Magic Nurseries, owned by Tom Reed, told Nursery World’s Nursery Chains, published in Autumn 2013, that it planned to continue to rapidly expand by acquiring high-quality individual nurseries and small groups.

In 2012, the nursery group secured a five-year loan of £3.25m from Barclays bank.

The Laurels Group of Nurseries, owned by Jayne and Jon Morris and Elaine Parker, was established in 1997. Together the eight nurseries, all rated good by Ofsted, provide 394 places and employ 149 staff.

Magic Nurseries’ director Tom Reed said, ‘We are delighted to have been able to buy The Laurels, and look forward to building on the reputation for outstanding quality and professionalism that the group has earned over the last 17 years.'

Andrew Coulter of Coulter-Consulting, who brokered the deal, said, ‘This is a good acquisition for Magic Nurseries. The Laurels is a highly successful and extremely profitable group in a relatively compact geographical area in and around Leicester.’

He went on to say that the nursery market is still extremely buoyant.