Yorkshire-based Castle Square Corporate Finance advise on acquisition
Yorkshire dealmaking firm, Castle Square Corporate Finance, has successfully advised First Blue Healthcare & Education Limited (“First Blue”), on the acquisition of Nurture Childcare Services Limited and significant six figure growth capital fundraising provided by alternative lender to UK SMEs, Thincats.
Headquartered in Staffordshire, First Blue is a best in class provider of residential care and support to vulnerable children, aged between 8 and 16, with special educational needs. Within five years of forming the Company, the First Blue Management Team have successfully registered and opened six residential care properties, all located across Staffordshire and the Midlands.
First Blue has acquired 16 bed children’s residential care provider based in the Northwest, Nurture Childcare Services Limited. The acquisition took the total number of available beds within the First Blue portfolio up to 34 children across 13 properties.
The structured funding package provided by Thincats, refinanced existing lender within First Blue, as well as providing additional capital to fund the purchase of a further five properties from which the First Blue services will be provided from.
The additional properties are expected to be renovated and registered by early 2023 and will increase the number of individuals that First Blue can support to 50 individuals.
Later this year First Blue will also open their first school which will be dedicated to providing children, those who are not suited to mainstream school, an alternative environment designed to meet a wider range of educational needs.
First Blue was formed by CEO, Chris Smith in 2017, with the vision of establishing a market-leading children’s care business that provides vulnerable children with the opportunity to receive the support needed to develop into individuals capable of fulfilling their potential in life.
Chris is supported in the day-to-day running of the business by operations director, Diane Smith and finance director, Callum Henderson.
First Blue are currently in the process of acquiring their maiden school to provide educational services for vulnerable children who are unsuited to mainstream school.
On behalf of the management team, Chris Smith said, “It is fantastic to have secured the fundraising from Thincats that will allow us to continue our development whilst providing the highest level of support to more and more vulnerable children in society. The plan for the next few years is to continue developing the services provided by First Blue Healthcare and this fundraising allows us to accelerate these plans.”
Led by director Patrick Lynch, Yorkshire-based dealmakers Castle Square Corporate Finance led on deal negotiations on the two acquisitions and ran a competitive fundraising process. After receiving multiple funding offers, Thincats emerged as preferred funder.
Patrick Lynch said: “Delighted to have advised First Blue on the transformation fundraising and acquisition, that will accelerate First Blue’s growth plans. The new partnership with Thincats, will allow the Management Team to further deliver substantial growth over the next few years and help First Blue to become a first-class national care provider to vulnerable children across the UK”.
Richard Henshaw, director, National Development Healthcare, ThinCats, said: “The team at First Blue have an incredible combined catalogue of experience and demonstrated expertise across the board. It was fantastic working with Patrick and the team at Castle Square Corporate Finance team, and we look forward to continue supporting the ambitious plans that First Blue has for the future.”
Midlands-based law firm, Higgs LLP, led by associate Damian Beard, provided legal services and advice to First Blue on the fundraising transaction.
Damian Beard, said: “We have advised First Blue on a couple of occasions in recent years and it’s always a pleasure to deal with a fast-growing, proactive client.
“This was a smooth transaction from start to finish and we hope to work with them again and forge a long-term relationship.”
Other advisers acting on the transaction included:
Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell provided legal advice to Thincats.