Welcome Nurseries sold in management buyout

Catherine Gaunt
Friday, August 5, 2022

Welcome Nurseries, the UK’s fourth largest nursery group, has been sold in a management buyout to a private investor.

PHOTO Welcome Children's Nurseries
PHOTO Welcome Children's Nurseries

The original co-founder and majority investor Jonathan Jay has left the business.

The group was started in 2019 by Jay, and Linda Cuddy – who was previously a nursery operator – and was also a shareholder.

Cuddy is staying on to lead the running of the group.

The private individual who now owns Welcome Nurseries has not been named.

The group grew rapidly to more than 50 nurseries in under three years, but currently has 48 settings.

It was reportedly sold for £25 million, according to NMT.

Welcome Nurseries is unusual in that it expanded rapidly during the pandemic, buying nursery businesses in often deprived areas that could otherwise have faced closure.

However, it seems that some under-performing settings have not been acquired as part of the sale of the group, and it is not known if they have other buyers.

In Nursery World’s Nursery Chains, published in March, the group was listed as owning 48 settings, with four more in the pipeline and said it had plans ‘to acquire another 32 nurseries in 2022’.

The group was listed as providing 5,125 places and having more than 750 employees.

Welcome Nurseries operates predominately in the North of England, in Yorkshire and Lancashire, and around Manchester and Liverpool.

Welcome Nurseries were approached for a comment.

 

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