Acquisition for expanding training provider after £5m backing

Paul Drew, CEO at Apprentify

A Cheshire provider of apprenticeship training has acquired a West Midlands business thanks to a £5m investment boost.

Alderley Park-headquartered Apprentify, which specialises in digital marketing, social media and tech courses, snapped up Netcom Training, a Birmingham-based digital training provider for adults seeking to up or reskill as part of its buy and build strategy.

The investment has come from BGF alongside debt funding from OakNorth which will enable the group to progress with its expansion in the apprenticeship and adult education market.

Jonathan Fitchew, executive chairman at Apprentify, said: “For most businesses, grappling with talent issues continues to be their greatest challenge.

“We help to solve this for businesses, developing peoples’ skills to enable them to take on quality roles, while closing the skills gap across sectors.

“In recent years, we’ve built up a strong reputation amongst employers for our value-add approach and active involvement in the development of high-quality candidates, significantly contributing to our high apprentice success rate.”

Paul Drew, Group CEO at Apprentify, added: “By maintaining that steadfast approach to delivering high quality outcomes, we are keen to expand our presence in digital marketing, social media, tech and other in-demand apprenticeship training spaces, whilst the acquisition of Netcom opens up the AEB market and increases our touch points along the adult learning pathway.”

The deal was led by Pinesh Mehta and Josh Bean, investors in BGF’s Manchester team.

As part of the deal, experienced private equity non-executive Warwick Nash will also join the Apprentify board as non-executive chair.

BGF’s Pinesh Mehta said: “The adult education and apprenticeship market, particularly for digital related courses, is being driven by a favourable political environment and growing skills gap across the UK workforce, and provides an exciting platform for growth.”

Blacksquare Advisory advised Apprentify on its acquisition of Netcom and associated fundraise.

Other advisors on the transaction were: Apprentify legal: Hill Dickinson;  Vendor financial due diligence: Cortus; Vendor financial modelling: DSW;  BGF legal: TLT; and  BGF tax: Hurst.