ABC Canada expansion denied

Liam Walsh,

CHILDCARE giant ABC Learning Centres yesterday distanced itself from Canadian media reports that it was eyeing expansion in that country.

This came as it emerged a series of international businesses linked to ABC, which caters for children aged from infants to schoolgoers, have been established….

The businesses, registered this year, were 123 Global Holdings with different organisations named for regions including Australasia, China, Europe, North America and Japan.

The Toronto Star reported ABC was eyeing Canada through a business it named as Ontario-based 123 Busy Beavers Learning Centres.

Letters were sent out in September asking daycare operators if they wanted to sell, The Star reported. The letter read: “We represent a large financial/childcare group purchasing childcare centres across Ontario”.

But ABC yesterday said the 123 companies were separate businesses.

“ABC Learning has no plans for operations in any country in the near future outside of Australia, New Zealand, the US and UK,” a spokesman said….

It describes ABC as a “key client” in Australia, as were two ABC subsidiaries in the UK and US….

Citigroup analysts last year pointed out Mr Jones was a director of ABC Acquisitions, which co-ordinates centre developers and sellers for ABC Learning Centres.

While then based at the same address as ABC Learning Centres, it was designated a separate entity to the ABC group and listed only two shareholders – Mr Jones and a Heather Jones….