Childcare Union Rejects Private Equity Company As Buyer Of Abc Learning

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20th November 2009, 10:05am - Views: 760
Childcare Union Rejects Private Equity Company as Buyer of ABC Learning Centres: 'Future of Children is at Stake'

20 November 2009

LHMU the childcare union today rejected private equity manager Archer Capital's intended bid to buy the remaining ABC Learning centres. This announcement follows a meeting this week between the union and Archer Capital.

Archer Capital and a consortium of charities led by Mission Australia are reportedly front-runners to buy the remaining ABC Learning centres. These 705 centres are in the process of being sold by Receivers McgrathNichol on behalf of the major secured creditors of ABC which collapsed last November.

Sue Lines, LHMU Assistant National Secretary says "We went to the meeting with Archer Capital with an open mind but were bitterly disappointed on behalf of working families and childcare professionals.

"Archer Capital told us they want to buy the centres cheap to build up the business for later sale. On that count alone one has to question whether Archer Capital is about quality childcare and stable employment.

"Early childhood education and care is not 'just another business'. It is a highly specialised essential service which enjoys very heavy taxpayer subsidies.

"Families and childcare workers cannot go through this again. As for the Federal Government, it has invested too much to allow another ABC learning crisis.

"The Government can't allow the sale process for ABC Learning to be conducted behind closed doors shielded from public scrutiny.

"The Government must step in to ensure the sale is open and transparent and in the interests of families and workers, not just the big end of town, especially ABC Learning's major creditors the big banks.

"Children's futures are too important to abandon them to a private equity approach of 'buy, strip and flip'.

"These centres must be sold to a buyer with a demonstrated commitment to quality early childhood education adn care. After all, at stake is the future of 15% of children in long day care. That's tens of thousands of Australian families and childcare professionals," says Sue Lines

Contact: Nada Vlatko - 0425 242 691

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