A mixture of debt and equity enabled this nursery business to more than double its nurseries in 18 months

ICP Nurseries started off with personal investment and early-stage funding to expand the number of nurseries within its group to six.
 
But in 2017, it successfully raised around £15m via a hybrid debt and equity facility, which allowed it to more than double the number of nurseries it owns.

Tracey Storey, CEO at ICP Nurseries

Business fact-file

BusinessICP Nurseries
RegionLondon and South East
SectorEducation
Type of fundingHybrid facility (debt and equity)

Key Takeaways

The Challenge

“We wanted finance to enable us to expand further by acquiring high quality, established nursery settings in affluent locations.”

The Finance

“We raised around £15m.”

The Outcome

“As well as acquiring locations, we also invest in each nursery, improving the building, resources and childcare practices.”

The journey to finance

  • ICP Nurseries acquires premium independent nurseries with strong reputations. It started out just two years ago using personal investment from the owners, and quickly grew to six nurseries.
  • In 2017, ICP Nurseries required further funding to acquire more nurseries and received £15m in Expansion Capital from Beechbrook, enabling it to grow to 20 sites across London and the South East.
  • This funding not only helped the team acquire more nurseries, but also enabled it to take on capital expenditure projects to improve the nurseries they owned, both inside and out.
  • On top of that, the funding also enabled ICP to improve staff training and development, culminating in the implementation of a salary and benefits structure for its staff.

"Securing the funding has ensured we have been able to grow our group to 20 settings very quickly, in the most premium areas of London and the South East."

Tracey Storey CEO at ICP Nurseries

ICP Nurseries' Top Tips

  • 1

    I would wholeheartedly recommend talking to similar small businesses about their funding experiences and researching carefully the funding model that was best for their business.

  • 2

    In order to grow your business, you need good partners and investors on the team.

"We raised £15m in 2017 and increased this further in early 2018. This enabled us to grow ICP Nurseries from six settings to 20 in 18 months."

Tracey Storey CEO at ICP Nurseries

The best bits about our funding

  1. In addition to the funding, we received extremely good advice and support with our strategy.
  2. Our working relationship is transparent and robust; we know we can approach our funder again in the future.