Jean-Emmanuel Rodocanachi
Jean-Emmanuel Rodocanachi

Infrastructure-focused private equity house InfraVia is acquiring a significant minority stake in France-based nursery operator Grandir from Eurazeo and state-owned investment group Bpifrance.

News of Grandir’s pursuit of a stake sale was exclusively revealed by EducationInvestor Global a month ago.

Eurazeo and Bpifrance are selling their 41% and 8% stakes in the business, respectively, while co-founder Jean-Emmanuel Rodocanachi and the management team will continue to hold 51%. Eurazeo announced that it expects to earn a two-times return on its initial investment.

News portal Capital Finance reported that the transaction would value the target at between €800 million and €850 million.

Founded in 2000, Grandir is a global early education player operating more than 650 centres with 32,000 places for children aged from newborn to six years old in France, the UK, Canada, the US and Germany.

Bruno Candès, partner at InfraVia, said: “We are very pleased to invest alongside Jean-Emmanuel and his team and are impressed by their achievements having initiated the creation of the French private nursery market and subsequently expanded in selected and attractive international locations. Education and in particular the provision of quality early childcare is an essential part of the economy and society SDG development over the long term. As an infrastructure investor, we are particularly attracted by long-term sustainable trends and the greenfield opportunities arising from the significant undersupply in most Grandir’s markets as well as the stable growth perspectives.”

Rodocanachi commented: “Thanks to BPI France and Eurazeo we have grown from 250 nurseries in France in 2016 to over 650 nurseries and kindergartens today in five G7 countries in Europe and North America. The next decade will be driven by an increased focus on our three pillars: corporate clients, families, and talents, with the ambition to make Grandir their indisputable first choice. First, the density of our network will guarantee a great level of service to our corporate clients whether their employees work from home or at the office. Second, our digital tools and education curriculum, designed for children’s key competencies for the 21st century, will guarantee a dedicated quality education for every family. Finally, with one-third of our workforce being part of the Z generation by 2025, our innovative human resources approach will guarantee the proper onboarding, care and training for our talents. We are very excited to share with InfraVia this new stage of the life of Grandir.”

Canaccord, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Deloitte are advisors for the buyer, while the vendors are advised by Lazard and Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier Avocats. The company is supported by Callisto.

Date published: 8 July 2021

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