Bain strikes second deal in Australia education sector

The firm’s investment came from its $3.3bn third Asia buyout fund.

Bain Capital Private Equity has bought the Camp Australia childcare business this week, less than four months after acquiring Sydney-based day care centre operator Only About Children, according to a statement.

Bain did not disclose financial details of the transaction but according to a person with knowledge of the matter, the deal was financed via a combination of equity from Bain Capital Asia Fund III and debt financing. According to sources cited in Australian media reports, Bain’s bid was around A$400 million ($298 million; €282 million), with committed financing of around A$200 million from Citi and Westpac Banking Corporation.

The firm’s third Asia buyout fund raised $3.3 billion in end 2015 and counts the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System, the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System as some of its LPs, according to PEI data.

Global private equity giant KKR and Australian firm Pacific Equity Partners were reportedly among bidders for Camp Australia.

Camp Australia provides before and after-hours care with around 700 schools throughout the mainland states of Australia.

“Camp Australia is operating in a very attractive market and we are thrilled to partner with them for future growth,” Ed Han, a managing director of Bain Capital, said. “Through our due diligence we came to the belief that there is an excellent opportunity to grow operations further and we plan to invest in management, staff and services, guided by our belief that all Australian families want access to quality childcare.”

The firm also previously invested in Massachusetts-based early childhood provider Bright Horizons and Beijing-headquartered English language centre Rise Education.

Bain Capital, which has more than $75 billion under management, operates in the Asia Pacific region from five offices in Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai and Hong Kong. The firm’s favoured investment sectors include consumer and retail, financial and business services, healthcare, and technology.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2017; Citigroup advised Bain on the transaction.