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US: Roark Capital-backed Primrose Schools on acquisition spree

Primrose Schools
Image from Primrose Schools’ Facebook page

Early childhood education provider Primrose Schools, a portfolio company of private equity firm Roark Capital Group, is stepping up efforts to acquire independent childcare centres.

The company said it recently completed conversions of eight early education centres, affecting more than 1,400 children, and has 10 additional acquisitions in the process of transitioning to a Primrose location.

Primrose Schools’ acquisitions team expects the pace of conversions to grow as demand for child care remains strong. In the first half of this year, the company awarded 32 franchise agreements — more than in the entirety of 2021 — and is poised to open its 500th location by early 2023.

Primrose stated that it provides independent centre owners with a viable exit strategy while preserving and enhancing their early education offering, and entrepreneurs can begin ownership by adopting its curriculum.

According to the company, converting an acquired centre to a Primrose location can take an average of eight to 10 months, during which these new Primrose schools often remain operational, continuing to serve local families while their ownership transitions.

Established in 1982 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Primrose operates schools in 33 US states.

Steve Clemente, president of Primrose Schools, said: “Independent childcare centre owners around the country are entrusting Primrose with their legacy because we share the same commitment to creating a better future for children and families through quality early education and care. The essential community resource they built is in good hands with Primrose’s award-winning curriculum and franchise model that provides the new franchise owners with everything they need to seamlessly transition their acquired school’s operations and ensure the staff, parents and students that depend on them thrive.”

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