Private equity firm Bain Capital has sold Australian childcare group Only About Children (OAC) to US-based early education provider Bright Horizons Family Solutions for around $320 million (A$450 million).

Bright Horizons will pay $213 million (A$300 million) upon closing and an additional $106.5 million (A$150 million) 18 months after closing as deferred purchase price.

The deal ends a six-year holding period for Bain Capital, which acquired a majority stake in OAC in August 2016.

The transaction is expected to be approximately neutral to Bright Horizons’ adjusted earnings per share in the first year as the integration of the childcare business is completed, and to be accretive thereafter, according to a statement.

Established in 2002, OAC is a childcare and early education centres operator which manages 75 campuses located in the Australian states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, with roughly two-thirds located within the greater Sydney area. The company generated revenue of approximately $140 million in 2021. 

With OAC’s addition, Bright Horizons expects to strengthen and diversify its offering outside of the US and Europe. Following the acquisition, the group will operate nearly 1,100 childcare centres across five countries: the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia and India.

Commenting on the acquisition, Bright Horizons chief executive Stephen Kramer said: “We have long been interested in Australia as an attractive market for high-quality childcare, with strong demand from working parents, an established funding support system, and a long runway for growth and expansion.”

Citi served as the exclusive financial advisor and Herbert Smith Freehills as legal advisor to Bright Horizons, while Allens served as legal advisor to Bain Capital.

Date published: 4 May 2022

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