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Childcare centre operator acquired

Childcare centre operator acquired

Ricky Casali, Minter Ellison

Two firms advised on the acquisition of Affinity Education Group by private equity firm Anchorage.

Firms: Minter Ellison (Anchorage Capital Partners), Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Affinity Education Group)

Deal: Anchorage acquired Affinity Education

Value: $258 million

Area: M&A

Key players: The Minter Ellison team was led by partner Ricky Casali (pictured), and included partners Costas Condoleon, John Mosley, Stewart Robertson, David Crane and Jakob Paartalu.

Deal significance:

Private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners acquired ASX-listed childcare centre operator Affinity Education Group by scheme of arrangement.

Queensland-based Affinity owns and operates a portfolio of 165 early childhood learning centres across Australia, holding around 12,000 places for children and employing around 3,600 staff.

Affinity had been a target of both an on-market cash bid and an off-market scrip bid by rival childcare provider G8 Education Limited earlier this year after a sharemarket raid in which G8 built a 19.9 per cent stake, according to a release from Minter Ellison.

G8 subsequently abandoned its pursuit of Affinity following a successful application to the Takeovers Panel by Affinity and a declaration of unacceptable circumstances.

Anchorage then pursued a scheme of arrangement, which was approved by 99.91 per cent of Affinity's shareholders.

Minter Ellison lead partner Ricky Casali said: “This transaction demonstrates how private equity fund buyers can execute complex public market transactions in circumstances where an aggressive competing suitor holds a blocking stake.”

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