A childhood education and nursery provider has made its first acquisition in New Zealand – and has completed a separate deal to expand in Australia
Busy Bees, which is based in Burntwood, Staffordshire, has acquired Provincial Education Group marking its entry into New Zealand.
Provincial Education has 75 centres and more than 5,500 places across the North and South Islands and is the third largest early childcare education provider in New Zealand.
Elsewhere, Busy Bees is expanding its footprint into mainland Australia with the acquisition of Think Childcare Group, which encompasses 71 centres and more than 7,100 places.
The deals mark a significant step in Busy Bees’ rapid growth across the globe, now having more than 850 centres worldwide.
They also come six months after Busy Bees acquired Milan-based Isola dell’Infanzia.
Busy Bees group chief executive Simon Irons said: “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.”
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Robert Hughes, CEO of Busy Bees Australia and New Zealand, added: “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.
“The Provincial Education and Think Childcare acquisitions allows Busy Bees to support more children, families and staff than ever before.”