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March 2021

Agilitas-backed Learning Curve Group acquires Antrec Limited

Agilitas, the pan-European mid-market private equity firm, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Learning Curve Group (“LCG” or “the company”), a leading UK training and education specialist, has completed the acquisition of Antrec Limited (“Antrec”), a training provider focused on delivering high-quality adult education.

Antrec, established in 2011 and based in Liverpool, delivers a range of adult learning courses in areas including construction, health care and social care, and is the leading provider of high-quality Taxi Driver Preparation courses in Liverpool City Region. Antrec’s mission is to provide good quality adult education, to improve and increase the skills and enterprise of the local community, and to support individuals to move into work or develop skills within the workplace.

The acquisition of Antrec reinforces LCG’s position as one of the UK’s largest training providers. The acquisition will accelerate the transformation plan initiated when Agilitas backed the management team of LCG in March 2020, to grow the business across all areas of its provision. The addition of Antrec helps achieve this by broadening LCG’s range of training programmes and expanding its geographic offering, allowing the company to reach even more learners and better fulfil its fundamental purpose of improving employability and economic well-being through practical education.

The announcement follows LCG’s acquisition of Acorn Training Consultants in September 2020, and the appointment of William Macpherson, an award-winning education industry veteran and former CEO of QA, as its new Chairperson in September 2020.

Brenda McLeish, CEO at LCG, said: “We are delighted that Antrec Limited will become part of Learning Curve Group as we continue to grow as one of the UK’s biggest training providers and expand our reach into Liverpool. The acquisition supports our growth strategy and presents new, exciting opportunities to our learners and employer partners, adding to our combined breadth of provision. After such a difficult year for many sectors and with unemployment being at a high point due to the impact of Covid-19, this acquisition will allow both businesses to consolidate their combined offer for the unemployed with the ultimate aim of supporting people back into work. I’m excited by the opportunities ahead of us and look forward to adding to the brilliant work Antrec have already done. We’re gaining a fantastic team of people and I’m looking forward to welcoming them to the Learning Curve Group family, enabling them to do more great work.”

Liam Goddard of Agilitas said: “Antrec’s focus on delivering learning of the highest quality makes the company a perfect fit for the ethos of both LCG and Agilitas, which places a fundamental emphasis on quality across its portfolio. We are excited to be continuing LCG’s expansion across the UK and accelerating the company’s rapid transformation, particularly supporting the education of unemployed adults at this difficult time.”

Martin Calderbank, Managing Partner of Agilitas, said: “The acquisition of Antrec is another key step in LCG’s continued transformation driven by its ambitious management team, and we are pleased to see the company expanding whilst retaining a focus on the principles that matter most to us: quality of service and delivering a fundamentally positive impact on society.”

LCG, which was founded in 2004, is based in Durham and provides life-changing opportunities for over 160,000 learners and 4,500 employers per year to help upskill both new and existing staff, enabling individuals to develop new skills in order to enter employment or advance their careers. The company – which has received ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED ratings for its business divisions – works across the country with a range of businesses, individuals and further education colleges, offering a diverse range of over 150 courses in a variety of sectors including Health & Social Care, Education, Business and IT, Hair & Beauty and Fitness.

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