Bradford-based Kinder Haven has been sold to Kids Planet, one of largest nursery groups in the country, for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2002 by husband-and-wife team, Darren and Danielle Dixon, Kinder Haven has steadily grown via an organic development strategy and, today, comprises nine high-quality children’s day nurseries.

All settings trade from converted, purpose-designed facilities which provide an aggregate operating capacity of circa 930 nursery places. They benefit from prominent locations across West Yorkshire and sit within close proximity of each other, providing ease of access for operational management and workforce staff optimisation purposes.

Following on from its most recent purchase of Rainbows Nursery in Tadcaster, in the last month alone Kids Planet now owns over 1,100 childcare places in the region.

Danielle commented: “Having made the decision to sell Kinder Haven it was important for us to choose a company with a great reputation and the same ethos and values.

“We are delighted to have chosen Kids Planet to nurture the Kinder Haven family, continue the legacy and take it to the next level. Kids Planet was the right fit for us, they are a hugely successful nursery group dedicated to providing exceptional childcare with a strong commitment to staff development.

“We would like to thank all the families and staff, past and present. It has been an honour to have been able to care for so many children and to work with such inspirational team members over the last 20 years.

“We are also thankful to have been advised and supported by our teams at law firm Gordons, accountants BHP and property advisers Christie & Co during the sale. Their professionalism and commitment has been invaluable throughout this transaction.”

Speaking on behalf of Kids Planet, chief exec, Clare Roberts, added: ‘We are delighted to be chosen by Darren and Danielle to take over at Kinder Haven. We are excited to have established a more significant presence in West Yorkshire and to be able to build upon the already high standards of care that have been implemented by the Kinder Haven management team and we immediately recognised the synergies between the two nursery groups. We look forward to working with the management team as we move forward together.”

The sale was handled by Vicky Marsland and Nick Brown at Christie & Co.

Vicky senior business agent at Christie & Co, said: “Danielle and Darren have built a truly magnificent group of nurseries with an incredibly passionate work force. This is a fantastic transaction not only for the new owners but also for the region. This wholly organic group was courted by a number of the leading operators, and we are absolutely delighted to have brokered this market setting deal which is in very safe hands with Kids Planet.

“Buyer demand is stronger than ever in the sector, with a particular increase in the Yorkshire regions for both single settings and multi-site groups from a wide range of buyers.”

Legal advice for the sellers was provided by at Gordons led by Duncan Firman, Stephanie Houghton and James Kimberley, alongside financial advice from Hamish Morrison, Tim Brind and their team at BHP. Legal advice for the buyer was provided by James Skivington and the team at Pinsent Masons LLP.

Duncan commented: “We have worked with Danielle and Darren for a number of years, and we are very pleased to have played our role in helping Kinder Haven expand. They have been on an extraordinary journey and we are delighted to have been able to advise on the sale to Kids Planet.”

BHP’s Tim Brind said: “It has been an absolute pleasure helping Darren and Danielle through to a successful exit. BHP have worked with the company for nearly 10 years now and have seen first-hand the enormous effort they have put into growing their business.”