PE backed training business reinforces its position in the early years market

Realise, an MBO supported by private equity investor Enact in October 2020 and now a prominent training provider, has secured the acquisition of FW Solutions.

Harrogate-based FW Solutions, which was formed in 2008 by husband-and-wife partnership Rodney and Sandra Hardy, is an independent training provider which delivers apprenticeships and training to more than 100 early years settings across Yorkshire and North-East England.

The entire FW Solutions team, including all trainers, will move to become part of Sheffield-based Realise, which will extend its provision by offering training in residential childcare for the first time.

Realise managing director, Gregg Scott, said: “FW Solutions has an excellent reputation for delivering outstanding training and apprenticeship programmes and we look forward to working with the settings that already partner with FW Solutions.

“The early years sector is a huge passion for everyone associated with Realise and we are determined to play our part in helping develop the careers of those people working in the sector, as well as helping to retain talent in early years settings.

“We are thrilled to be strengthening our team by welcoming colleagues from FW Solutions into the Realise fold.

“The acquisition of FW Solutions fits perfectly with our long-term strategy of organic growth supported by strategic acquisitions.”

Rodney Hardy said: “It is with a heavy heart that we are leaving FW Solutions but it’s the right time for Sandra and I to retire.

“We will miss all members of our highly qualified team, who have shown such loyal support and dedication over the last 14 years, as well as the expanding number of settings we have been fortunate to partner with.

“When we were initially approached by Realise regarding an acquisition, we knew this was an exciting opportunity to expand on the initial concept of FW Solutions yet retain the family-based environment which has been such a key part of the success.

“We wish all our former colleagues at FW Solutions and the entire team at Realise every success for the future.”

Paul Denvers, investment director at Enact, added: “This is another significant moment in the short but impressive history of Realise.

“When we first met the management team at Realise in 2020, we were impressed with their vision for strong and sustainable growth.

“Acquisitions such as FW Solutions, built on the success and stable foundations of the business as a whole, ensures that vision is being delivered. We are thrilled to be supporting a business which is delivering on its expansion plans.”