Education group swoops for leadership and management consultancy

Aspire Development (UK) Ltd, a Halifax-based leadership and management development consultancy, has been acquired by Cognition Education UK (CEUK) Limited for an undisclosed sum.

Aspire specialises in designing and delivering online and face-to-face development courses.

Manchester-based CEUK is part of Cognition Learning Group, which is 100% owned by the Cognition Education Trust.

CEUK currently delivers a range of services on behalf of the Department for Education and the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) across England.

Regional accountancy firm and business advisor, Azets, advised the shareholders of Aspire on the deal.

Alison Wheatly, CEO of Aspire Development said: “Aspire is very proud of the high quality and successful learning programmes and qualifications we have provided since 2005 and believe we have found in Cognition Education an organisation which can build on this quality and success through their passion for learning and their expertise and specialism in training and education.

“Our future looks very bright and we explore expansion opportunities under the direction of Cognition’s expert team.

“We have received terrific support from the teams at Azets, who helped us navigate and negotiate the sale.”

Tina Lucas, CEO of Cognition Learning Group said: “It is with pleasure that I announce the acquisition of Aspire and welcome them to our business.

“Aspire’s extensive experience, market reputation for a quality leadership and training programmes combined with their shared passion for education makes them a perfect complementary business to our expanding Group.”

Rob Burton, corporate finance partner at Azets led the deal and provided corporate finance advice to the Aspire shareholders supported by Richard Weston, corporate finance manager.

Steven Millward, partner and Jessica Fielden of Schofield Sweeney provided legal advice to the Aspire shareholders.

Burton said: “This is a fantastic deal for everyone involved and it’s always rewarding to see a strong business secure its legacy having sold to an ambitious buyer like CEUK who are in a fantastic position to take it from strength-to-strength.

“This deal demonstrates the vibrant business environment in Yorkshire.”