DETROIT, MI, September 15, 2022 – Rockbridge Growth Equity (“Rockbridge”), a partnership-oriented middle market private equity firm with a differentiated approach to building and growing companies, announced today that it has made a strategic investment in The Nest Schools (“Nest” or the “Company”), an operator of 36 early childhood education centers across Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Virginia. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Gerry Pastor and Jane Porterfield, Nest’s Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, will continue to lead the Company and implement their differentiated operational playbook with the support of Rockbridge. Mr. Pastor and Ms. Porterfield have decades of education industry experience, having previously led another successful early education business together.
“It’s no coincidence that in a relatively short amount of time, Nest has grown to become one of the top 50 largest early education providers in the country,” said Ziv Weizman, a partner at Rockbridge. “We have been impressed with Gerry and Jane’s standout approach in the industry and their dedication to providing premier early education experiences. Parents today value high-quality early childhood education, and we see abundant opportunities to expand into new markets and grow our presence in existing regions by partnering with Gerry, Jane and the entire Nest management team.”
The Nest Schools delivers a premium educational experience supported by a proprietary, developmental-focused curriculum in safe and stimulating educational environments with industry-leading facilities. Its “play-based” educational programming is augmented by a fitness-inspired wellness program (“Fit Buddies”), a program emphasizing art and music (“Paints & Pianos”), and a program teaching basic life skills (“The Art of Living”). Its curriculum and program design encourage children to wonder, question, work with their peers, and experiment with different possibilities. The more than 600 team members deliver the Company’s “Nest Play” curriculum to over 3,000 infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children across its portfolio of schools.
“The importance of Early Childhood Education and our understanding of how young children learn and develop has evolved rapidly over recent years, and we incorporate all current research into our approach in addition to state-of-the-art technology,” said Mr. Pastor and Ms. Porterfield. “With the support of the Rockbridge team, we will look to grow our presence in a fragmented industry and meet the growing demand for innovative and quality education solutions. We were highly impressed by the Rockbridge team’s understanding of the early childhood education industry and believe their experience and relationships make them the ideal partner as we embark on the next phase of the Company’s development.”
Honigman served as legal advisor to Rockbridge.
The Nest Schools operates premium early childhood education across multiple states for infants through school age children. It is driven by its vision to raise a world of kind, healthy, happy, and inspired children as the worldwide leader in early childhood programs for children, their families, and its team. The Nest Schools’ mission to build strong minds, healthy bodies, and happy kids are made possible through its core values of kindness, wellness, innovation, and fun. For more information, visit www.thenestschool.com.
About Rockbridge Growth Equity
Founded in 2007, Rockbridge Growth Equity is a middle market private equity firm committed to helping both founder-operated and established companies accelerate growth and build long-term, sustainable value. Rockbridge combines the flexibility of a financial sponsor with the benefits of strategic partnership by leveraging the firm’s relationship with the Rock Family of Companies, which provides access to industry and functional expertise. As of year-end 2021, Rockbridge has regulatory assets under management of over $1.2 billion across its target sectors: e-Commerce and Marketing Services, Financial Services and Fintech, Tech-Enabled Products and Services, and Digital Media. For more information, please visit www.rbequity.com.
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