Investment fund backs MBO at training provider
A management buyout of a Yorkshire-based apprenticeships and adult education provider has completed with the management team, backed by Enact, acquiring the business from the Interserve Group.
Interserve Learning and Employment (ILE) is the sixth largest apprenticeship provider in the UK supporting over 7,000 learners across a number of sectors including Childcare, Health and Social Care, Transport and Business skills.
The business, headquartered in Sheffield and employing over 300 people, provides learning, education and employment services through apprenticeships and adult education services to support businesses across the country to inspire and develop talent.
The investment by Enact is the fifth acquisition made from the £30m dedicated SME fund raised in May 2019.
Chris Cormack, partner leading the Enact fund, joins the ILE board and will support the existing management team.
He said: “We are delighted to have completed this transaction, backing the management team in acquiring ILE.
“The acquisition of this Yorkshire headquartered business enables the continued delivery of high quality learning to apprentices across the UK and will have a significant role to support people and businesses in a post-COVID economy.
“We will look to build on the reputation of quality the business has at the heart of its operations with the aim of inspiring both apprentices to start working life and adults looking to further their career with new skills.
“This transaction also demonstrates the commitment of Enact, in an environment of great uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, to provide continued investment to SMEs that have relevant and sustainable business models but do not fit the investment criteria of traditional private equity or sources of funding.”
Gregg Scott, managing director of ILE, added: “We have worked hard over the past months to continue to deliver training courses to our learners throughout the pandemic.
“We are proud to work with a diverse range of employers every day from telecommunications giants to independent hairdressing salons to transport businesses and every type of company in between, helping them make a positive contribution to society and the economy.
“We quickly built a rapport with Enact who shared our passion and pride in delivering quality learning and have ambitions to retain that quality ethos as we plan to grow the business.”
Alan Lovell, chairman of Interserve Group Limited, said: “The sale of ILE marks further progress in realising Interserve’s business plan.
“It is an attractive deal for all stakeholders and an excellent opportunity for ILE’s colleagues as the business begins the next chapter in its growth.”
Enact Fund II, invests transformational capital of up to £5m into UK based SMEs.
A key area of investment is into non-core corporate carve outs, where Enact invests both capital and expertise to support businesses realise their full potential and unlock their true value.
The single biggest investor in the Fund is the Endless and Enact partner and employee group.
Enact was advised by Simon Pilling and James Cook of Womble Bond Dickinson and Russ Cahill of the Tax Advisory Partnership.