The acquisition brings the total number of UK nurseries owned by Bright Horizons to 304, providing 24,242 childcare places.
Bright Horizons now operates more than 1,000 nurseries worldwide.
According to the league table of the 25 largest nursery chains in the UK in Nursery World's upcoming Nursery Chains 2016, which went to press ahead of the announcement, the new amalgamated nursery group will have more settings than Busy Bees, the largest nursery chain in the UK, and just nine fewer childcare places. Bright Horizons remains the second largest nursery chain in the UK.
David Lissy, chief executive of Bright Horizons, said, ‘We are excited to welcome Asquith to the Bright Horizons family. We have long admired each other's organisation and share an approach to early years education and commitment to excellence that makes this development a natural one. Asquith's outstanding reputation for high-quality is recognised among families and throughout the field, and we are proud of this new addition to our European team.’
Andy Morris, chief executive and managing director of Asquith, who will be staying with the company and supporting the transition, said, ‘We are proud of the impact we have made on children and families throughout Asquith's more than 25-year history. There is no doubt that Bright Horizons is the right partner to build on what we've grown over a quarter of a century. Our nursery staff, parents, and, most important, the children will find the same supportive learning environments and a company committed to growing what we've built to its full potential.’
Asquith, which has been owned by Kaupthing since 2009, was advised by Jefferies for the deal.
- Nursery Chains is out on Monday. An updated table will be published online.