Founded in 1983 by three families unhappy with the childcare options available to them, this Staffordshire business now provides care for 45,000 children across 480 nurseries. It is the UK’s largest private provider of childcare services and was acquired by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in 2012 in a deal that reportedly valued it at £220m. Chief executive John Woodward, 62, and managing director Marg Randles, 60, led the £137m acquisition of Treetops Nurseries from private equity house Epiris in March; and have expanded into Canada, acquiring Brightpath in August.

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Company details
Year2017
Rank86
CompanyBusy Bees
ActivityNurseries operator
LocationStaffordshire
Sales £m249
Operating profit £m11.9
Main shareholdersOntario teachers Pension Plan (80%), management (20%)
Staff7,585
Founded1983
Websitewww.busybees.com

If applicable:

* supplied by Company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda