Welcome Nurseries selects Begbies Traynor for administration

17 August 2022 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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With hundreds of jobs on the line across England, a nurseries group has been sold out of administration, in a pre-pack deal. The deal, which saved the Welcome Nurseries chain, was advised upon by professionals from Begbies Traynor.

Following a period of rapid expansion, Welcome Nurseries currently operates 32 sites across the north of England. As one of the largest nurseries operators in the UK, the firm was impacted gravely by the pandemic. Having made a series of pre-Covid-19 acquisitions, the group was left unable to meet its ongoing operating costs and repay the deferred consideration owed.

In early August 2022, this saw Asher Miller of Begbies Traynor, appointed as joint administrator, alongside Paul Weber of Leigh Adams. Fortunately, the pair were able to conduct a pre-packaged administration sale, saving the jobs of over 300 dedicated staff and ensuring the continued nursery care of around 450 children.

Welcome Nurseries selects Begbies Traynor for administration

A pre-packaged administration involves a company going into administration and selling part of the business or assets to a pre-agreed buyer. The sale is negotiated before an administrator is appointed, rather than the administrator working to sell to potential buyers after being appointed.

In this case, 26 of Welcome Nurseries’ sites were sold to the Harp Group – a newly formed company from entrepreneur, Simon Fox. The acquisition has the support of Linda Cuddy, the founder of Welcome Nurseries – however, it does not include six of the company’s sites – which will need to be closed. Where possible, Welcome Nurseries will support families seeking alternative arrangements for those children affected.

Miller commented, “I am so pleased to have been able to secure a quick and positive outcome for the majority of the staff and children at Welcome Nurseries. Simon is an experienced business operator and is passionate about education and I have no doubt that the 26 nurseries acquired by the Harp Group will continue to flourish and to provide first-rate education to their many children.”