Biggest Dutch childcare group sold to new private equity owner


The Netherlands’ biggest childcare group Kidsfoundation has been sold by its private equity owner HIG Capital to Canadian investment company Onex.

It is the fifth time in 12 years that the group has changed hands, the Financieele Dagblad says. Financial details were not disclosed but the FD put the takeover price at around €300m.

The company says its various units cater to 30,000 children all over the country. The biggest brand is Smallsteps but Zus en Zo, Kits, SKS and De Speelbrug are also part of the group.

Kidsfoundation was previously known as Estro, which went bust in 2014 under its previous owner, US private equity group Providence. After a controversial restart, which involved sacking 1000 workers, the company was then sold on to HIF.

Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of four daycare workers sacked in the pre-packed bankruptcy deal.

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