MML Capital Partners (“MML”) has invested into Learning Curve Group (“LCG”) after being initially introduced to the potential opportunity by Clearwater International Corporate Finance. Having quickly established a strong relationship with the management team, MML worked closely with Clearwater to close down the deal outside of any process. LCG delivers education, apprenticeship and training programmes for 16-18 year olds and adult learners, primarily on a flexible delivery basis. From ‘safe handling of medicines’ to apprenticeships in construction and IT, Learning Curve has been delivering ‘outstanding’ learning provision since 2004. In a true ‘partnership’ deal, MML has backed the existing management team who have consistently grown the business throughout the economic cycle. The MML investment has enabled management to reorganise the shareholder base and provides growth capital to support the planned organic and acquisitive growth, positioning the business to satisfy strong demand from its clients in the public and private sector for successful apprenticeship and learner outcomes.
Ian Wallis, Richard Mayers, and Edward Baker led and executed the deal for MML with both Mayers and Wallis joining the LCG board.
CEO Brenda McLeish said “These are very exciting times for Learning Curve Group. This partnership with MML will cement our reputation as a leader in education and training provision for many years to come. Our five year strategic plan now has in place the financial resource that will allow us to respond to the very strong demand for our market-leading products. We chose MML as our investment partner because of its extensive experience, flexible approach and strong partnership ethos, which will enable our senior management team to retain operational freedom whilst giving us the support to achieve our growth objectives.”
Richard Mayers, Investment Director at MML said “We were immediately impressed by the quality of the management team at LCG, and we are looking forward to supporting the team to deliver their plan. Not only is this an attractive opportunity to back a successful growing business, it’s also a genuine opportunity to help young people and adults from across all areas of society, many of whom have been previously disenfranchised, to develop their skills and improve their employment prospects.”
Marcus Archer, Partner at Clearwater International, who introduced the transaction and worked buy-side for MML, commented, “Learning Curve is a leading player in its market and has a great management team. Identifying MML as the right strategic partner to support their growth strategy is an excellent example of the type of origination that comes from Clearwater International’s thorough knowledge of the education sector”.
Shoosmiths LLP, led by Alastair Peet, provided legal advice to MML whilst HSBC in Leeds provided acquisition finance to support the transaction. EY in Manchester completed the financial due diligence with Parthenon and GK Strategy providing commercial and political diligence respectively. Deverill, Marsh and Control Risks also provided further diligence support.