A fast-growing London-based nursery operator has retained advisors to explore strategic options that could include a majority-sale of the business, EducationInvestor Global can reveal.

EIG has learn that N Family Club, which operates 14 nurseries in London and the home counties, has appointed DC Advisory to conduct a review that could prompt an equity raise.

DC Advisory is expected to launch a formal process in due course and in the meantime is sounding out potential investors, including private equity, a deal with which would enable N Family Club’s management team to remain in place.

According to statutory accounts, in the year ended 31 December 2020, N Family Club booked turnover of £3.8 million, up from £2.21 million a year prior, and losses totalling £4.9 million, which widened from £2.2 million. Occupancy across N Family Club’s portfolio of settings stood at 56%, according to Companies House filings, which cite pandemic-induced closures as the primary reason.

Founded in 2017 by former investment banker Phillip Sunderland, N Family Club’s growth to date has been funded by himself, angel investors and £15 million of debt provided by Gravis in the summer of 2019.

In an interview with EIG in February 2020, Sunderland said N Family Club would explore a second-phase fundraise in due course, saying the company was “looking for long-term, patient capital, a funder who is excited by the vision and shares our obsession with quality, customer service and team happiness”.

News of DC Advisory’s mandate comes amid a flurry of corporate activity in the UK early years market.

This week, EIG revealed that All About Children’s backers had appointed KPMG to find a buyer for the business. Meanwhile, Kids Planet, which operates more than 60 nurseries across the UK, is currently in play in an auction being steered by EY, as revealed by EIG.

DC Advisory, which has in the past 12 months advised Bowmark Capital on its exit from Oxford International and LDC on its sale of Texthelp, declined to comment.

N Family Club declined to comment.  

Date published: 8 November 2021

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