BEECH TREE PE INVESTS IN LEARNLIGHT GROUP (“LEARNLIGHT”)

Beech Tree Private Equity invests in Learnlight Group (“Learnlight”), the leading corporate language and skills training company, and makes a bolt-on acquisition with Communicaid, Ltd.

31 January 2017

Beech Tree Private Equity today announces the formation of Learnlight Holdings Ltd to create a leading international virtual training business specialising in language and soft skills courses.

The initial transactions announced today include:

The acquisition of Learnlight Group SL, a leading international virtual training business specialising in languages and skills training for employees of large blue-chip multi-national companies.

Learnlight was founded in Spain in 2007 by Benjamin Joseph and Rupert Hillier, the CEO and COO of the group, and has 178 staff and 700+ trainers in more than 50 countries around the world.

It uses a proprietary technology platform to provide blended face-to-face, virtual and digital-based training to employees of National and International businesses around the world. The business has over 100,000 active learners in 150 countries. Its clients include Deutsche Telecom, Ericcson, PWC, Coca Cola, Siemens, Johnson and Johnson, SEAT, Ricoh, Orange, Inditex and GE Healthcare.

Learnlight Holdings Ltd has also acquired Communicaid, a UK-based languages, communication skills and cultural awareness training business based in London with operations in Paris. This acquisition greatly complements Learnlight’s current business. Communicaid’s expertise will broaden Learnlight’s offering and Learnlight’s platform will bring compelling blended solutions to Communicaid’s clients. Communicaid’s client base also comprises blue-chip businesses including: European Central Bank, BAE Systems, Barclays, Tesco Stores Ltd, Technip and Jaguar Land Rover.

Beech Tree Private Equity has also provided further capital to fund the organic growth plans of the business as well as further acquisitions.

The growth in virtual language and skills training is forecast to be between 15-20% per annum, as increasing numbers of International corporates move from traditional face-to-face training providers to technology based providers that can offer a blended learning solution, like Learnlight.

Benjamin Joseph, CEO of Learnlight said: “We are delighted that Beech Tree Private Equity are on board to support our growth plans, both organically and through acquisition. We believe we have found the right partners as both Andy and Adam really understand the sector, share our strategic ambitions and are already adding value to our business along with our new Chairman, Charles McIntyre. The most important point, however, is that Beech Tree Private Equity delivered on exactly what they said they would do from the outset”.

Rupert Hillier, COO of Learnlight 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.”

Andy Marsh, Managing Partner at Beech Tree Private Equity said: “We are really excited to be working with Learnlight and Communicaid and have been extremely impressed with the platform that the team have created and the very strong competitive market position the business has. 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”.

Andy Marsh and Adam Rudd will join the board from Beech Tree Private Equity.

Notes to the Editor:

The key people and advisers to the deal are as follows:

Funders to the Transaction:

Beech Tree Private Equity – Andy Marsh and Adam Rudd

Advisers to Beech Tree Private Equity

Legal: DLA Piper ( James Kerrigan, Chris Wilson)

Corporate Finance: IBIS Capital Ltd ( Charles McIntyre)

Commercial Due Diligence: Fairgrove Partners ( Patrick Woodrow)

Financial Due Diligence and Tax: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ( Patrick Meades and Nick Hatton).

IT due diligence: Diligent Consultancy (Dave Rogers)

Advisers to the Sellers:

Legal: Eversheds ( Louise Finnie, Kayode Sodeinde)

About BTPE

Beech Tree Private Equity is a sub sector focused private equity firm formed by Andy Marsh and Paul Franks. As an investor we work in real partnership with management teams/ founders to create market leading businesses in fast-growth sectors both in the UK and internationally. We want to work with like-minded driven management teams to grow their businesses, providing capital, expertise and connectivity to collectively create real value growth. We will invest between £10m and £40m into businesses providing funding for Management Buy Outs, Secondary Capital (to provide partial cash out for founder shareholders) along with Primary Capital (to accelerate growth organically or through acquisition).

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