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Haniel agrees on a partnership with KMK Kinderzimmer, a leading provider of early childhood education in Germany

06/16/2021

Duisburg, Hamburg, 16 June 2021. Franz Haniel & Cie GmbH ("Haniel") has agreed on a long-term partnership with Karina and Melf Kruse, the founders and shareholders of KMK Kinderzimmer GmbH ("das kinderzimmer"); with Haniel acquiring a majority stake in the company. The founders will remain shareholders and will continue to lead the company as operational managers.

Das kinderzimmer is a dynamically growing provider of early childhood education and operates crèches and daycare centers in Hamburg and Munich with around 600 employees. Currently, over 4,000 children from a wide range of social backgrounds are cared for in the facilities of the company, which was established in 2011. As a privately owned service-provider, das kinderzimmer supports cities and municipalities on the basis of public regulation to ensure government-guaranteed and socially relevant access to early childhood education; also enabling diverse living and working models. Thus, the company also contributes significantly to improving the integration of professional and family life.

"We are delighted to have gained a strong partner in Haniel, which aims to create value for generations through its enkelfähig approach. Together, we will be even more successful in giving more and more children a second home. Through access to early childhood education regardless of social background we are making our vision of a society with more equal opportunities a reality. Our companies not only share very similar values, but also a common understanding of social responsibility," explains founder Karina Kruse.

Co-founder Melf Kruse adds: "The partnership opens up new opportunities for us to develop das kinderzimmer's offering, for example in the areas of digitalization and corporate customers. In addition, together with Haniel, we also want to expand our activities to other German regions where we are not yet active today."

"We want to be ‘enkelfähig’ and build a portfolio of outperforming businesses for a future worth living. Das kinderzimmer is particularly in line with this, as the company gives all children access to high-quality early childhood care and education. I am also very pleased to partner with Karina and Melf Kruse; two inspiring entrepreneurs who have created an impressive, highly professional organization during the past ten years," says Haniel CEO Thomas Schmidt. Together, the two companies want to contribute to closing the growing childcare gap in Germany, aiming to provide all children under the age of six high-quality care in future.

Das kinderzimmer will be led as an independent company within the Haniel portfolio; assigned to the "People" investment pillar, which bundles activities in the areas of health, education and safety. "We will support das kinderzimmer in developing its activities and expanding into other regions – with the aim of establishing the leading nationwide provider of early childhood education in Germany," says Stefan Zobel, Investment Partner at Haniel. "In doing so, we want to help the founders realize the company's vision – the best educational opportunities for all children with real relief for parents, regardless of social background and social standing."