A Nottingham entrepreneur has added two further nurseries to his growing portfolio as part of a major expansion supported by Barclays and Pattersons Commercial Law.

Simon Johnson, who already owned Lambley Day Nursery in Nottinghamshire has now added Little Stars Nursery’s two sites and an out of school club in Hilton, Derbyshire to the group in a seven-figure deal.

Mr Johnson, who previously worked in the financial services sector with before embarking on a property development career and latterly into nurseries had been looking for additional sites that suited his business model for the last three years.

‘I actually went to school just down the road from the nursery so this is a pretty special feeling,’ explains Simon. ‘We had been looking for the next site for some time because it has to be the right fit in terms of what we can do to add value and where the existing business is viable with potential for further growth.

‘That said, whilst there is an element of seeking a ‘’plug in’’ business, each venue is always going to have its own characteristics and its own customer base. Our job is to learn what has been working well to date, which in the case of Little Stars is a great many things, and then to ensure that everything is a good as it possibly can be by using our infrastructure to create new opportunities and of course economies of scale.

‘We operate as a group but each nursery will retain its own identity and brand as that is very important for their employees and of course their customers who appreciate the familiarity of each individual nursery. We are here to offer a solid structure for them all to thrive, safe in the knowledge that they have the protection and support of the group behind them.’

Rik Pancholi of Pattersons Commercial Law who advised Simon Johnson on the acquisition said;

‘Simon has built a very scalable business model and his biggest challenge in terms of growth was always going to be finding that next business that fits the model but also can stand on its own two feet. He has found that with Little Stars and I am delighted for him as he embarks on the next phase of his business.’

Robert Barke, Relationship Director at Barclays commented;

“Little Stars is part of a group with a solid strategy and vision for the future led by Simon. We are delighted to have been able to support him in the next phase of the group’s development and their longer term growth strategy.’