Set up by local parents, Little Rascals based in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent opened its first nursery in 2011 and acquired a second setting in 2014. Both nurseries are graded outstanding by Ofsted.
The nursery owners said they strived to create settings with the happiness and wellbeing of children, families and staff were paramount.
Felicity Merrick and Esther Green, who set up the group with Rob Merrick, said, ‘We are incredibly proud of all we have achieved at Little Rascals and it was a very difficult decision to sell. However, we are confident that this decision is the right one and that Little Rascals will continue to thrive and be exceptional under the ownership of ICP Nurseries.’
The deal follows other recent acquisitions by ICP nurseries, including acquired Montessori on the Park in east London last month, and Northcote House and Little House Nurseries in south-west London. It takes the number of nurseries operated by ICP to 14, providing just under 1,000 places.
Specialist property adviser Christie & Co, which handled the sale, said that Little Rascals Nurseries was an exceptional group, consisting of two settings which hold an excellent reputation for providing the highest levels of childcare.
Nick Brown, head of brokerage, Childcare UK at Christie & Co, who handled the sale, said, ‘It has been a pleasure working with the owners of Little Rascals who have created a group of nurseries which gained a tremendous amount of interest from UK and international buyers through a confidential sales process. This all resulted in numerous bids being received and an exceptional price being achieved for the now former owners.
‘This sale reiterates that the market is prepared to pay a premium price for settings of the highest quality in the right locations, and this is exactly what Little Rascals Nurseries offered.’
Tracey Storey of ICP Nurseries, said, ‘ICP Nurseries are extremely happy with the service provided by Christie & Co and are excited about acquiring two exceptional settings that have been outstanding under the ownership of Esther, Felicity and Rob. We are very much looking forward to working with the management and staff teams.’