3 Sep 2008

ABC finalises sale of UK business

10:21 am on 3 September 2008

ABC Learning Centres Ltd has finalised the sale of its UK voucher business, Busy Bees Childcare Vouchers Ltd, to share registry Computershare Ltd for 90 million pounds.

In a statement on Tuesday, ABC said proceeds from the sale will be used to retire debt under the company's syndicated bank facility.

The listed childcare provider said profit from the sale would be in line with previous guidance, which was for an estimated capital gain before costs of $A100 million.

The Busy Bees Voucher division services more than 12,000 customers in the UK.

Last week, ABC failed to meet the scheduled release of its annual results, saying they were not ready yet.

In July, ABC forecast a pre-tax earnings loss of $A437 million for 2007/08.

ABC Learning has 1,100 centres throughout Australia with 16,000 staff who care for more than 100,000 children.

ABC shares have been in a trading halt since last week.