Bertram Nursery Group, one of the UK’s largest children’s nursery groups, has been acquired by its management team in a transaction funded by Apiary Capital and Santander.
Bertram was founded in 2001 by Graeme Scott and Tom Lyons with the opening of the Strawberry Hill nursery in Edinburgh. It has since grown to 36 nurseries across North West England and Scotland, employing approximately 800 staff and with approximately 3,000 full time places.
The management team is led by Managing Director Cary Rankin, who has been with Bertram since 2015, and was previously with Kids Unlimited and Bright Horizons. Stuart Sheehy and Malcolm Hughes are joining the Group as Finance Director and Chairman, respectively, and bring with them significant experience in the broader education and healthcare sectors.
Rankin says: “This is an exciting time for everyone at Bertram. The transaction will allow us to continue to invest in the training and development of our staff whilst creating environments that allow them to deliver the very best levels of care and education. We will continue to look at ways to make Bertram a great place to work, and a safe and fun place for children to play and learn about the world they live in.”
Jeniv Shah, Investment Director at Apiary Capital, says: “Cary and his team have impressed us with their commitment to delivering outstanding quality of care and education. We are looking forward to supporting them as they continue to develop the Group’s existing nurseries as well as expanding Bertram’s footprint through further acquisitions. We would like to thank Graeme and Tom for their involvement in securing our investment and wish them well in their future plans.”
Rockpool Investments LLP, who provided growth capital to the business in December 2014, are also exiting the Group as part of the transaction.
The Bertram Nursery Group has an award-winning track record, including most recently winning ‘Best Nursery Group’ at the Scottish Nursery Management Today Nursery Awards 2018, and placing in the daynurseries.co.uk 2018 Top 20 Nursery Awards across three categories: North West England, Scotland and Large Nursery Groups. Bertram also holds a Gold standard ‘Investors in Young People’ accreditation.