Epiris is pleased to announce that it has agreed the sale of Treetops Nurseries (“Treetops”), the UK's fourth largest nursery education operator, to Busy Bees. The transaction is anticipated to close in April.

Electra Private Equity PLC (“Electra”) is expected to receive proceeds from the sale of £93 million, an uplift of £44 million or 91% and equivalent to an increase in its NAV of 107 pence per share on the valuation of the investment at 30 September 2016. This equates to a return of 6.5x cost and an IRR of 59%. This is the seventh exit delivering a money multiple of more than 3x that Epiris has achieved in the last twelve months.

Headquartered in Derby, Treetops provides childcare to in excess of 6,000 children and employs more than 1,300 people. The company operates 61 schools, predominantly in the North of England, the Midlands and the South East.

Treetops was spun out of PINE Unit Trust in 2012. The separation allowed Epiris to initiate a transformation strategy to accelerate growth through strategic focus, operational improvement and M&A. Epiris recruited Stephen Booty as Chairman and Charles Eggleston as CEO to deliver this strategy.

Chris Hanna, Partner at Epiris, said:

“In 2012 we designed a strategy to transform Treetops. Five years later we have delivered. Treetops’ position as one of the largest nursery school operators in the UK is the result of a programme of growth investment, operational improvement and M&A. This has more than quadrupled earnings and created a business which, as today’s announcement demonstrates, is highly attractive to a strategic acquirer.

“We couldn’t have done this without Charles Eggleston, CEO of Treetops, and his team, and we wish them well under new ownership.”

Charles Eggleston, CEO of Treetops, said:

“Epiris has been a fantastic investor for Treetops. Chris and his team set out a clear vision for the business and provided invaluable support as we have worked to fulfil it.”

Chris Hanna and Nicola Gray were responsible for the investment and the exit of Treetops Nurseries. Epiris was advised by PwC Corporate Finance and Eversheds Sutherland.

Epiris refers to Epiris Managers LLP acting on behalf of its client Electra Private Equity PLC.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Andrew Honnor, Matthew Goodman, Matthieu Roussellier, Greenbrook Communications
+44 (0)20 7952 2000

Nicholas Board and Andrew Kenny, Epiris
+44 (0)20 7306 3902

Note to Editors:

About Epiris LLP
Epiris is a top-decile private equity fund manager*.

Epiris, together with its predecessor firms, has managed the business and affairs of Electra Private Equity PLC, a listed private equity investment trust, for four decades. Epiris has also managed private equity investment programmes for pension funds, financial institutions and family offices. During this time Epiris has invested in excess of £5 billion in over 200 deals. Since 2011, Epiris has invested £1 billion in buyouts and co-investments and loan-to-own debt investments, in respect of which it has delivered a gross IRR of 38%**.

As at 30 September 2016, the firm had funds under management of £2.4 billion.

For further information please visit www.epiris.co.uk.

Issued by Epiris Managers LLP which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*        Refers to the 2009 and 2012 investment pools comprising Buyout & Co-investment, Secondary and Debt investments managed on behalf of Electra Private Equity PLC; comparator data supplied by Preqin.

**      As at 30 September 2016 adjusted for subsequent investments and realisations. Gross IRR does not reflect adjustments for investment management and administration costs. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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