Palatine makes first Impact investment in Trade Skills 4U

Palatine Private Equity has invested in Trade Skills 4U, a specialist in electrical training courses in the UK.

This marks the first deal from Palatine’s Impact Fund, an investment vehicle targeting profitable growth companies that can deliver a private equity return, and a positive social or environmental impact.

Established in 2005, the Gatwick and Warrington-based business provides a range of electrical courses for individuals who have little or no electrical knowledge who want to become electricians, whilst also providing further training to those already in the profession or associated trades.

Trade Skills 4U focuses on the adult training market, and attracts people who are looking to upskill or retrain in an environment that is suited to their needs. This includes people who have left the military, and opens up career opportunities that may not have been accessible to individuals prior to completion of the Trade Skills 4U courses.

The deal sees Palatine back the existing management team, consisting of Carl Bennett, Andy Hays-Ellis and Christos Panayiotou.

In addition Robert Vince who has had a long career with Interserve will join the board as non-executive director. The Palatine Investment will support the expansion of Trade Skills 4U across the UK with the opening of a number of new training centres.

Bennett, executive chairman of Trade Skills 4U, said: “Trade Skills 4U provides exceptional training for adults who are looking to develop their skills in an environment tailored to their needs.

“The business has grown recently with the opening of a new centre in Warrington in 2016, and with Palatine’s support we are looking forward to increasing our presence across the country and increasing our social impact.

“Palatine have an exceptional track record of supporting companies like Trade Skills 4U with their expansion plans. We have found a unique partner in Palatine given their enviable track record in responsible investing and the recent close of their Impact fund. They have demonstrated that they share our passion and values that support our distinctive proposition in the electrical training sector, and are fully aligned with us in delivering a positive social impact and supporting our continued growth.”

The investment was led by Partners Beth Houghton and Zoe Clements, with support from Matthew Coles, investment manager.

Houghton, head of Impact Fund at Palatine Private Equity, said: “We are delighted to support the management team of Trade Skills 4U with their exciting and impactful expansion plans, and look forward to working with them to build on their success to date and explore a number of growth opportunities.

“Trade Skills 4U typifies the type of company that we are looking to invest in through our new Impact Fund. Namely a growing business with a strong and passionate management team, that looks to make a positive and meaningful social impact.”

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