Deloitte has successfully advised the shareholders of Blossom Nurseries, the largest provider of early years education services in Dubai, on a merger with Babilou MENA, the Middle East operations of Babilou Group, the largest early years education and nurseries group in Europe.

Founded in Dubai in 2009 by Zahra Hamirani and Rahim Sajan, Blossom Nurseries has rapidly grown from one site to six centers across Dubai, with a number of expansion sites identified in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They have been recognized with over 20 industry and community awards underlining the quality behind it’s offering, and are consistently identified by the local business community as a best in class provider of childcare education solutions in Dubai. Blossom Nurseries combines a top quality academic approach; a secure and stimulating learning environment, highly qualified and trained staff, and a flexible enrolment structure, brought together with a unique offering that is consistent across all its locations.

Babilou was founded in Paris in 2003 by Rodolphe and Edouard Carle, and is France’s largest private daycare operator. Babilou welcomes more than 25,000 children each week and supports more than 1,200 clients of all sizes, with more than 520 childcare centers which includes day-care centers, nursery clubs and nursery schools, with more than 6,000 professionals dedicated to the highest quality educational standard worldwide. Babilou is the recipient of numerous industry awards including ‘Best Childhood Project Award’ from Fondation de France (2004), ‘Best Promising Company Prize’ from EY (2009), ISO certification for ‘Family Relationship Management’ (2012), and ‘French Champion of Growth’ from L’Express L’Entreprise (2014).

Deloitte were appointed to advise the Blossom Nurseries Shareholders on their regional growth plans and to deliver an optimal funding structure to support this business strategy.

Blossom Nurseries, after experiencing a period of strong growth, and given the significant opportunities in the regional early years education sector, concluded that it needed to bring on board a strong partner to realize it’s expansion plans. Deloitte identified a number of potential investors that fit the criteria and ran a structured process to evaluate the attractiveness of these investors as partners for the company.

“This merger between Blossom’s best in class local early years education expertise and Babilou’s market leading international capabilities is the ideal combination of two complimentary businesses that are leaders in their fields. Ultimately, it is the parents and their children who will benefit from the award winning range of early years education services and solutions.” said Aziz Ul-Haq, Partner, Financial Advisory, Deloitte, Middle East. “This merger clearly demonstrates the strength of the local economy and the ability of successful local businesses to attract interest from international groups that are pursuing expansion opportunities across growth markets.”

“In seeking a strategic partner for Blossom, our preference was for an international group with a track record of delivering the highest quality early years education and a strong vision for growth,” said Zahra Hamirani, Founder and CEO of Blossom Nurseries. “It was important for me to find a partner that shared our company values and would present the ideal platform to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity in the regional early years education segment. I believe we have found that partner in Babilou and can’t wait to get started on our combined business plan. I want to thank all parties for their exemplary approach to this transaction, and to the team at Deloitte for its commitment and efforts in delivering a successful solution for Blossom.”

“The Shareholders have built a highly successful business in a short period of time and we wish them every success as they embark on their journey alongside Babilou”, said Mark Taylor, Director, Financial Advisory, Deloitte, Middle East. “All parties were exceptional in their approach to conclude this deal in an abbreviated timeframe. This transaction is a fantastic endorsement of the UAE mid-market economy, for which we continue to see significant investor appetite, both from local and international groups”.

The merger between Blossom and Babilou MENA is expected to create the market leading platform in the UAE early years education space.

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