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The Entertainer will ‘breathe new life into Early Learning Centre” in £13.5m acquisition

The Entertainer will ‘breathe new life into Early Learning Centre” as it is poised to acquire the pre-school specialist in a transaction valued at £13.5 million.

Mothercare agreed the sale in the early hours of today with reports first emerging from Sky News.

The struggling retailer, which was forced to strike a rescue deal with creditors as part of a restructuring and refinancing last year, said the deal would free it of bank debt by the end of this year.

Mothercare has admitted to not having the “necessary capital, resources of scale,” to continue to invest and develop own-brand ELC toys and told investors that £6million would b received on completion of the deal.

The deal with TEAL will not see Early Learning Centre disappear from Mothercare stores. This is because it operates within all Mothercare shops in the UK, in 400 stores internationally via franchise partners and online.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones, said: “This disposal of Early Learning Centre provides a further step towards eliminating our bank debt, and our new concession arrangements with The Entertainer will bring our customers an even stronger toys offer, both in stores and online.

“We look forward to working with the team at The Entertainer in the years to come.”

The Entertainer founder and executive chairman, Gary Grant, added: “We are delighted to add ELC to The Entertainer family.

“It comes with a rich history as a much-loved British brand, supporting parents and grandparents with their children’s early years’ learning, development and play. We will look to bring new life to the product offering while maintaining the high level of quality ELC is renowned for.”

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