Pre-pack deal saves 300 jobs at nursery group

A Northern nursery group has gone through a pre-pack administration, saving 300 jobs.

Welcome Nurseries was hit by “an extensive period of disruption and uncertainty” caused by the global pandemic.

This left the Bury-headquartered business unable to meet its ongoing operating costs and repay the deferred consideration owed following acquisitions the business had completed pre-pandemic.

It operated 32 sites, including 10 in Yorkshire. As part of the pre-pack, 26 nurseries have been taken over by the Harp Group, a new vehicle set up by entrepreneur, Simon Fox, and the remaining six will be closed.

The acquisition, which has the support of Welcome Nurseries founder Linda Cuddy, completed this week and saved the jobs of more than 300 staff and “ensured the ongoing nursery care for around 450 children.”

Simon Fox, director of Harp Group, said: “We are excited about investing in putting Welcome back on a sound financial footing and re-establishing it as one of the foremost nursery groups in the UK, building on the hard work and experience of Linda Cuddy and her team.”

Joint administrators Asher Miller of Begbies Traynor, working alongside Paul Weber of Leigh Adams, completed the pre-pack sale of Welcome Nurseries.

Miller added: “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.”

 

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