Wolseley Private Equity makes 2.3x return from Guardian Early Learning Group exit


australia_koala_170sqPrivate equity firm Navis Capital Partners has bought a controlling stake in Australian childcare service provider Guardian Early Learning Group from Wolseley Private Equity.

Wolseley said the deal was worth A$120m and it made a return of 2.3 times and an IRR of 40 per cent.

Earlier this year it was reported that the company could fetch as much as A$125m.

Guardian’s senior management has retained a minority interest in the business, while founder Tom Hardwick will continue as CEO.

The company owns and operates 32 community early learning centres and 10 corporate early learning centres, with an additional 27 centres managed on behalf of third-party owners.

Director of Navis Capital Australia Philip Latham said, “We will accelerate the future growth of Guardian through selectively investing in high quality greenfield developments and acquiring early learning centres that meet our investment criteria.”

Earlier this year Navis bought a stake of over 50 per cent in Malaysian transmission services group HG Power Transmissions.

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