Giraffe Childcare facilities acquired by UK group
Transaction is subject to Competition and Consumer Protection Commission clearance
“It is business as usual for all Giraffe Childcare facilities,” the company’s directors said. Photograph: Eric Luke
All 21 Giraffe Childcare facilities will be acquired by Busy Bees, a childcare company with 35 years’ experience in the sector.
The sale, for an undisclosed sum, is subject to regulatory agreement and the transaction will now be considered by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
The Giraffe brand of creches is owned by Giraffe Childcare Unlimited Company, which has an address in Adamstown, Co Dublin. Unlimited companies do not publish accounts and do not have limited liability. All of the company’s shares are held by an Isle of Man group, Yokota Limited.
Giraffe’s Stepaside creche in Dublin featured in a 2013 RTÉ investigation into the mistreatment of children. The programme identified examples of poor care, including a worker shouting at children, a failure to provide enough staff at the facility and the strapping of infants into chairs for lengthy periods.
“The directors of Giraffe Childcare confirms that a contract has been signed for the sale of the company to international childcare organisation Busy Bees. The transaction is subject to clearance from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and a notification has been filed with the CCPC. It is business as usual for all Giraffe Childcare facilities,” a statement read.
The company has notified parents of Giraffe’s decision following a “great deal of thought” as to what the next stages of the company’s development should be.
Busy Bees had an excellent reputation, Giraffe said, which had “become synonymous with quality care”. The company does not operate in the Irish market and previously only had a UK presence before expanding its offering internationally. It is understood the 21 Irish facilities, the majority of which are in Dublin, will continue to operate under the Giraffe brand.
“Both management teams at Giraffe and Busy Bees will be working closely together to ensure a seamless and efficient transition for all concerned following completion, subject to the necessary regulatory approval,” the company’s directors said.