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Exclusive: Welcome Nurseries Group announces management buyout

Welcome Nurseries, the UK’s fourth largest nursery group, has announced a successful management buyout (MBO).

Welcome Nurseries will continue to be run by the current management team, backed by a private investor.

Original founder and investor Jonathan Jay has now exited the business, while co-founder Linda Cuddy will stay in her role as director of childcare and education, and assume the principle leadership role.

The new investor, a private individual, has pledged to continue investing to further drive the nursery chain’s rapid expansion.

Commenting on the deal, founder Jonathan Jay stated: “We’ve built Welcome quickly and successfully by focusing on finding great nurseries and hiring amazing people to run them.

“I’m very excited to see what the new investor will do to continue our rapid expansion, adding more nurseries into the Welcome family.” 

A source familiar with the deal said that it’s likely that the business will be restructured to exit onerous leases and any underperforming sites.  

Welcome Nurseries has been one of the UK’s fastest-growing groups and has been advised by Grant Thornton. The group was reportedly sold for £25 million.

It was founded by Jonathan Jay and Linda Cuddy in 2019, and now boasts 48 settings with more than 5,000 childcare places.

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