13 Jun 2018, Katy Morton
The deal sees Cranbrook Day Nurseries, which previously operated just one setting - Little Monkeys in Horsham - add three settings - two nurseries and one out-of-school club.
With the Elan Nurseries, which will continue to operate under the same brand name, Cranbrook Day Nurseries offers nursery provision across three sites, providing 345 childcare places.
Cranbrook Day Nurseries is owned by Chris Holmes with former nursery owner Peter Churchley as chairman. Mr Churchley previously owned Rosevale Holdings, a network of 12 nurseries (Caring Daycare and Major Minors) and two children's centres in Surrey and West Sussex, which he sold to Busy Bees in 2014. He was also deputy chair of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) between 2000 and 2005.
Elan Nurseries was established in 2005. Its three settings in Haywards Heath and Steyning (West Sussex) provide care for up to 215 children. At their last inspection, the two nurseries were rated good by Ofsted.
Peter Churchley, Cranbrook Day Nurseries' chairman, said, 'Following the continued success of Little Monkeys we have been looking for further opportunities in the West Sussex area. When Elan came to market we were very excited because the geographical fit with Horsham is great. The quality was also a good match with Little Monkeys although we could see where our approach would further enhance the quality of outcomes for the children and strengthen their position as market leaders in their areas.
'We will continue to look for further opportunities which expand our regional footprint, but at a pace that enables us not to lose focus on the quality we are delivering for every child at each and every setting.'
Sophie Wilcox, childcare business agent at Christie & Co, which handled the sale, said, ‘It has been a pleasure working with the owners of Elan Nurseries. This opportunity generated interest from both UK and international operators, resulting in numerous bids being received from a very competitive process, with an exceptional price ultimately achieved. This is just another example showing that the market is very buoyant for settings of the highest quality in the right locations.’