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April 4, 2019
Partou and KidsFoundation announced that they intend to merge into a single corporate group. By joining forces, they will create a stronger national childcare organisation that operates on a solid foundation, is financially healthy, and can reliably offer better value and quality for parents and children, as well as employees.
The new organisation will provide daily care for 60,000 children. It will have 8,000 committed employees working at over 650 locations throughout the Netherlands. As such, the new organisation will have a share of approximately 8% in the market for day-care, toddler-care and after-school centres . The combination of Partou and KidsFoundation (the parent company of Smallsteps, Zus&Zo, SKS and Belle Fleur, among others) will thus be positioned exceptionally well to continue investing in pedagogical quality, employee training and in the physical childcare centres. Furthermore, it will be able to respond well to changes in legislation and regulations, and to changing economic circumstances. For parents, the daily interaction and experience at the childcare centres will remain personal, welcoming, and professional, which we know our customers value.
Jeanine Lemmens, CEO of KidsFoundation, commented: “By combining our strengths and resources, we can offer parents throughout the Netherlands the very best childcare. Both our organisations have, in recent years, invested structurally in and worked hard to improve the quality. The combination of Partou and KidsFoundation brings together the best of both childcare organisations for the benefit of parents, children, and our employees.”
Katinka Reuling, CEO of Partou, added: “We are proud of what we have achieved in the childcare sector in recent years. It is important that the sector continues to develop, to make quality childcare even more accessible for all parents. By joining forces, we will contribute to that development. It will also make us more attractive as an employer, as we can offer more opportunities for growth and training.”
By joining forces, KidsFoundation and Partou will be able to work even more effectively on enhancing approaches to the development of young children and on the professional advancement of pedagogical staff members. The combination will continue to benefit from existing collaborations with leading universities and training institutes.
KidsFoundation’s owner, Onex Partners, will, join with the Dutch venture capital company Waterland as the main shareholders of the combined business, acquiring the Partou shares from the Dutch investment company Navitas Capital. Following the shareholder change, the combined network will be maintained and parents and children will continue to see every morning the faces of the pedagogical staff with whom they are already familiar. The number of pedagogical staff at the childcare centres is expected to increase further due to the growing demand for childcare.
The works councils of both organisations have been informed and will be asked formally for their advice. The proposed merger is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
After completion of the proposed merger, a joint committee will draw up a plan to further define the integration, strategy, service office activities, management model and brands.