Beech Tree speaks the right language to complete new deal

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Beech Tree Private Equity has invested in a corporate language and skills training company, and already made the first bolt-on acquisition for the business.

It has acquired Learnlight Group SL, an international virtual training business specialising in languages and skills training for employees of large blue-chip multi-national companies, for an undisclosed sum.

Learnlight was founded in Spain in 2007 by Benjamin Joseph and Rupert Hillier, the chief executive and chief operating officer of the group. It has 178 staff and more than 700 trainers in 50 countries around the world.  

Its technology platform provides blended face-to-face, virtual and digital-based training to business, with over 100,000 active learners in 150 countries. Clients include Deutsche Telecom, Ericcson, PWC, Coca Cola, Siemens, Johnson and Johnson, SEAT, Ricoh, Orange, Inditex and GE Healthcare.

Following the deal, Beech Tree has formed Learnlight Holdings Ltd to acquire Communicaid, a London-based languages, communication skills and cultural awareness training business which employs 35 staff. The combined businesses have a turnover of £17m.

Communicaid’s client base also comprises blue-chip businesses including: European Central Bank, BAE Systems, Barclays, Tesco Stores Ltd, Technip and Jaguar Land Rover.

Rupert Hillier said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Communicaid team. They bring added breadth to our product portfolio with more than 20 years experience in communication skills and cross-cultural training, as well as more than 30 additional language courses. This will be key in extending our offering of virtual soft skills training courses.”

Beech Tree Private Equity, which has offices in Manchester and Birmingham, has also provided further capital to fund the organic growth plans of the business as well as further acquisitions and Andy Marsh and Adam Rudd will join the board of Learnlight.

Andy Marsh, managing partner at Beech Tree Private Equity, said: “The management team have clearly invested heavily in the technology and infrastructure which will make the delivery of our growth plans much easier. We are backing a team that have genuine ambitions to build a market leading business in a very large international market place”.

Beech Tree Private Equity was launched in 2015 by Marsh and Paul Franks, who previously led Gresham Private Equity’s Manchester and Birmingham offices respectively. It sub sector focused, invest between £10m and £40m.