M&A advisors support MPCT with sale to Learning Curve Group

10 November 2021 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read

Military learning provider MPCT has been acquired by Learning Curve Group. The move sees Learning Curve Group become the UK’s largest military training organisation outside of the Ministry of Defence.

Founded in 1999 by former Army officer Huw Lewis, Motivational Preparation College for Training (MPCT) has helped tens of thousands of school leavers gain practical and academic skills to help with both civilian and military careers. Operating across 30 locations, with 180 staff, MPCT is the largest provider of Traineeships in Wales and is the 7th largest independent training provider on the UK Government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency contract.

Over the last 22 years, it has also received a number of accolades. These include winning Times Educational Supplement Training Provider of the Year, being listed in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For list, and achieving a Grade 1 Outstanding result in its most recent Ofsted inspection. This formidable track-record attracted the attention of the Learning Curve Group (LCG), as it continues an acquisition campaign to strengthen its own operations.

M&A advisors support MPCT with sale to Learning Curve Group

Brenda McLeish, CEO at Learning Curve Group said, “We’re delighted that MPCT and all of their amazing staff will become part of the Purple People family here at LCG. It is essential that any organisation that we bring into Learning Curve Group has shared values and a purpose, and I believe MPCT have exactly that. They are a fantastic business and have received a number of awards, and I am looking forward to working closely with the teams as we embark on our next stage of growth.”

LCG is a UK training and education specialist, and a portfolio company of pan-European mid-market private equity firm Agilitas. The acquisition comes at a time of major expansion for the firm, with LCG also having completed a deal to take over Merseyside firm Antrec in March 2021. In the same year, it also announced plans to create almost 1,000 new jobs and target new parts of the UK as part of a four-year growth strategy after receiving its second private equity investment. On top of this, its purchase of MPCT will establish LCG as the largest military training organisation outside of the Ministry of Defence.

Huw Lewis, Chief Executive of MPCT said, “Like us LCG believes strongly in transformational education and that alignment in ethos and joint approach to the training of young people will bring huge benefits, not just to learners but to employers the length and breadth of the UK. Together we will be able to bring both of our multi-award-winning models to a far wider catchment area than is currently possible as well as benefiting from an even larger breadth of provision.”

Capital Law provided legal advice to the shareholders and its team comprised Duncan Macintosh, Angelina Drljaca-Chandler and Catherine Golledge. Meanwhile, Gambit Corporate Finance acted as lead advisor to the shareholders of MPCT on initiating.

A Gambit team led by Partner Geraint Rowe, Director Simon Marsden and Executive Michael Dunn supported MPCT with the negotiating and structuring the transaction. According to Lewis, the consultants were “wholly committed, provided an extraordinary level of service and steered the negotiations with objectivity.”

He added, “The transaction was executed in an incredibly professional manner and potential issues were carefully considered, which ensured that the process was managed smoothly. It has been a genuine pleasure to work closely with Gambit over the last few months and I thank them for their outstanding support every step of the way.”

Established in 1992, Gambit is a corporate finance lead advisory firm, specialising in advising private and public companies on mid-market transactions throughout the UK and overseas. The firm’s team holds extensive transaction experience when it comes to initiating, structuring and project managing both quoted and unquoted company transactions.

Simon Marsden of Gambit commented on the deal, “This successful outcome is a testament to Gambit’s deep Education and Training sector knowledge and experience in delivering M&A advisory services which exceed stakeholder expectations. The transaction also indicates the buoyancy of M&A activity in the Education and Training sector at present, with high levels of appetite from acquirers for quality assets in the UK mid-market, which augurs well for the continued growth of our credentials in the sector.”