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Global education giant targets ABC Learning Centres [AU]

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Smith, Robert
Publication Date: 
30 Jun 2009

See text below.


The mystery bidder in the race to buy the New Zealand arm of the ABC childcare chain has been unveiled, with global education giant Knowledge Universe reportedly interested in buying the chain.

NBR understands the Singapore-based childcare company, which operates more than 3000 physical locations with 42,000 staff around the world, as well as a large online learning environment, is the eleventh-hour mystery bidder that began showing an interest last month.


There is already a connection between the companies, with ABC recently selling UK nursery group Busy Bees to Knowledge Universe earlier this month.

The sale was handled by receiver McGrath Nicol, which is also handling the sale of the New Zealand arm of the failed childcare chain.

Busy Bees, which has 131 nurseries with space for 11,500 children, was sold to Knowledge Universe for an undisclosed amount last week.

Neither Mr Presland nor McGrath Nicol would make any comment on whether Knowledge Universe was involved in the bidding.

However, when announcing the Busy Bees Group sale earlier this month, Chris Honey of McGrath Nicol highlighted the similarities between the UK operation and ABC in New Zealand, with both companies continuing to trade profitably after the Australian parent was placed in receivership in November.


ABC operates 127 centres in New Zealand and employs 1410 permanent and 694 casual staff.

- reprinted from the National Business Review

Entered Date: 
8 Jul 2009
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