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9 November 20212 minute read

DLA Piper advises leading Australian childcare group on acquisition of Provincial Education Group

DLA Piper has advised the Australian business of global childcare operator Busy Bees, on its successful acquisition of Provincial Education Group Limited in New Zealand from Waterman Private Capital, Ascentro Capital and founders.

Provincial Education is a leading New Zealand early learning and childcare centre group with over 75 centres in its portfolio and more than 5,500 places in locations across the North and South Islands. Established in 2013, starting with one centre, it has grown significantly in a short period of time.

The acquisition sees Busy Bees Australia, a major player in the Australian early childhood education and care sector, enter and immediately build a significant presence in the New Zealand market, and thus extending its regional focus to Australia & New Zealand.

DLA Piper's team was led by M&A Partner, Reuben Woods, supported by Partner, Rachel Brown, Senior Associate, Pavanie Edirisuriya and Solicitor, Tim Galland.

The team helped Busy Bees navigate the acquisition of a complex asset with a significant number of centres, in a highly regulated sector, all during COVID-19 lockdowns.

"Busy Bees is an extremely well led organisation, with the bonus of Robert Hughes and his team also being very experienced in M&A. It was a real pleasure to work with such a great team to bring Busy Bees to Aotearoa" says Reuben.

Robert Hughes, CEO Busy Bees Australia & New Zealand, said: “DLA Piper is a global firm Busy Bees knows well having supported multiple transactions in Australia and elsewhere globally. When we were looking to undertake an acquisition in New Zealand, Busy Bees were introduced to Reuben Woods and his team in New Zealand. Reuben was able to guide and advise Busy Bees throughout the process ensuring we understood the New Zealand deal landscape including OIO and assisting us to manage risks as we entered a new jurisdiction. The DLA Piper name is just as professional and reliable in New Zealand as elsewhere around the globe. I look forward to calling upon DLA Piper for further transactions in New Zealand.”