Bain’s Bright Horizons Goes for an IPO

Child-care operator still growing at a respectable clip

By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace Writer & IPO Playbook Editor

Child-care operator Bright Horizons — which has grown in 25 years to operate 773 child-care and early education centers, and now serves about 87,400 children in the U.S. U.K., Ireland and Canada — has filed to go public.

Bright Horizons’ core business model is to strike multi-year contracts with employers. In all, the company has 850 client relationships and boasts an impressive retention rate of 97%.

From 2001 to 2011, revenues and EBITDA grew at compound annual rates of 11% and 17%, respectively. For the first half of 2012, revenues came to $529.6 million, and EBITDA was $89.1 million.

The company’s growth strategy involves the combination of building new locations and acquisitions. It also has consistently increased tuition over the years.

Bright Horizons went public on the Nasdaq in 1998, then went private in May 2008 with the backing of Bain Capital.

The company is expected to list on the NYSE with the ticker “BFAM.” Lead underwriters include Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Barclays (NYSE:BCS).

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook.”  Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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