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Onex new owner of KidsFoundation

Almere, 19 July 2018 – Onex will become the new shareholder and strategic partner of KidsFoundation. The Canadian investor is taking over H.I.G.’s Capital shares and aims to use financial strength and knowledge to help KidsFoundation with its qualitative and international growth ambitions. KidsFoundation has in recent years developed into a strong and one of the most valued childcare organisations in the Netherlands.

KidsFoundation provides childcare for more than 30,000 children at 281 locations and currently has a 5% market share. 3,750 proud and involved employees work hard every day. KidsFoundation is the parent organisation of Smallsteps, ZusenZo, Kits, De Speelbrug, and SKS Alles Kids. The appreciation from parents for the daily childcare exceeds an 8 out of 10. The employee satisfaction (7.5 out of 10) has grown considerably in recent years. KidsFoundation has the ambition for qualitative and responsible further growth in the Netherlands and beyond. Onex’s support will help us with this ambition.

The current shareholder H.I.G. Capital acquired parts of the former Estro from the curator in 2014. Since then, there has been significant investment in employees, locations, quality improvement, and growth. This has resulted in a high-quality and financially healthy business and has led to Smallsteps being able to reach a favourable settlement with the FNV at the end of 2017 for the Estro employees who were affected. In addition, the erstwhile creditors now benefit from back-payments negotiated by the curator.

Jeanine Lemmers, KidsFoundation CEO: “The daily care for our children more and more requires specific expertise, safe locations, and larger investments. Upscaling makes this possible and is therefore essential. I am deeply grateful to all parents and our employees for their continued trust, efforts, and appreciation. The KidsFoundation of today has been achieved by all of us together. Our future is looking promising thanks to the acquisition by Onex: it optimally safeguards the high-quality care for our children.”

Nigel Wright, Onex Managing Director: “KidsFoundation stands for high-quality childcare for thousands of families. That is the foundation we wish to build on. We are very pleased with this collaboration with the KidsFoundation management team. We are looking forward to supporting their growth over the years to come.”

The Works Council has also issued a favourable opinion on the takeover. The WC became involved at an early stage. The WC formulated criteria and participated constructively in the thought process that guarantees the short-term and long-term interests of the employees. The focus here was on responsible financing, job retention, and continuity of the vision on high-quality childcare.

The change of ownership will not mean any changes for the children, parents, and employees. The management will remain the same. The parties involved have agreed that there will be no further announcements on the transaction terms.

For more information:

Marika Zijp – KidsFoundation
Mobile: 06-27 88 39 99

About KidsFoundation

KidsFoundation has 281 locations and offers high-quality childcare to almost 30,000 children in the Netherlands. These locations are mostly day-care facilities (KDV) and after-school care locations (BSO). KidsFoundation is the largest player in childcare in the Netherlands and is the parent organisation of Smallsteps, ZusenZo, Kits, De Speelbrug, and SKS Alles Kids. KidsFoundation has the ambition to offer parents the best imaginable and most valued childcare in their immediate area.

About Onex

Onex is one of the oldest and most successful private equity firms in the world. It was established in 1984 and has its head office in Toronto, Canada. Onex buys businesses with growth potential. It offers top advice and financing to improve the companies from the inside out and to transform them – in collaboration with the talented management teams – into market leaders.

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