Grant Thornton advises Davidson-Roberts Limited Davidson-Roberts Limited sold to Family First Group

July 2022
Davidson-Roberts Limited
Adviser to Davidson-Roberts Limited on their sale to Family First Group
Grant Thornton team
Private education
Sell side
Corporate finance
Flag of the United Kingdom

We are delighted to have advised Davidson-Roberts Limited on their sale to Family First Group.

Davidson-Roberts is a group of 10 day nurseries and out-of-school clubs, all rated as Outstanding or Good by Ofsted. The Group was formed by Jane Roberts in 2006 and has grown from one site to a capacity of over 700 places across the wider East of England region.

The shareholders engaged us to advise on the sale of the Group, recognising the firm’s sector expertise as well as its reputation in the local market.

Founded in 2019, Family First Nursery Group (FFNG) is backed by private equity investor August Equity with the aim of growing to one of the leading childcare providers in the UK. The acquisition enables FFNG to make a step change in size, benefit from synergies from further economies of scale, and expand its geographic presence (historically focussed in London and the South East).

As well as leading the sale process and marketing the business to a number of highly strategic buyers, our tax team provided advice on the complex demerger of the properties from the OpCo as part of the transaction, implementing the demerger ahead of first round offers to minimise tax costs and a deliver a highly efficient tax solution for the shareholders.

Working closely with our client, we invested time upfront to clearly present potential upsides to profitability from FTE and fee growth, articulate the development potential of the sites, as well as the strength of the brand and staff - providing bidders with a compelling acquisition case to enable them to pay a premium price.

We drove a competitive process, marketing to known buy-and-build platforms, receiving multiple offers and delivering an exceptional outcome for our client.


Grant Thornton delivered a fantastic result based on their understanding of the nursery sector and their relationships within the market, while the tax team's support on the demerger of the properties was also invaluable throughout the process. I am pleased that my business has found the right home for its next chapter, as Family First Nursery Group is a company that shares our own values and is ready to take Davidson-Roberts and the team to the next level.

Jane Roberts Founder, Davidson-Roberts Limited

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