UK-based childcare company Busy Bees has made its first acquisition in New Zealand and has made another deal which expands its presence in Australia, Business Live has reported.

In New Zealand Busy Bees has acquired Provincial Education Group, which has 75 centres catering to more than 5,500 children across the North and South Islands and is the third-largest early childcare company in the country.

Busy Bees has also acquired Think Childcare in Australia, which has 71 centres looking after more than 7,100 youngsters.

Robert Hughes, chief executive of Busy Bees Australia and New Zealand, said: “Our global mission is to give children the best start in life. It is a great step to be welcoming Provincial Education into the Busy Bees family as our first expansion into New Zealand. We have a shared commitment with the Provincial Education management team to providing the highest-quality care and education, and a strong alignment around values.

“Think Childcare is a high-quality business and offers Busy Bees a compelling opportunity and platform for growth, while continuing to strengthen our global portfolio and bring further talent into the Busy Bees business.

“Since Busy Bees entered this region back in 2018 we have continued to invest in our footprint through new centre openings and acquisitions across Australia and now New Zealand. We have a clear ambition of continued growth underpinned by the financial strength of the Busy Bees Group.”

Busy Bees’ group chief executive Simon Irons commented: “Busy Bees intends to become the leading early years educator in Australia and New Zealand. We remain focused on community-based centres of high quality that give their children the best start in life.

“We are delighted to continue to back a strong local management team, led by regional CEO Robert Hughes, and I am delighted that with the acquisitions of Provincial Education and Think Childcare we take a significant step forward towards realising our ambitions, and have added talented colleagues to our business.”

Busy Bees now has more than 850 centres worldwide.

Date published: 22 October 2021

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