Addition Capital, the London-based family investment office, has completed a control investment into BE-A Education Ltd, supported by funding from Shawbrook Bank.
Hertfordshire-based BE-A Education is the operator of the highly successful and fast-growing New Skills Academy and Staff Skills Training businesses with a mission to make learning accessible to consumers and businesses globally. To date, the award-winning company has sold nearly 1 million courses to consumers in over 30 countries.
The strategic investment, in partnership with BE-A’s founders, marks a new phase in BE-A’s continuing mission to bring affordable and accessible upskilling courses to consumers and businesses globally through its direct-to-consumer platform, New Skills Academy, and its SME-focused business platform, Staff Skills Training.
Addition Capital’s acquisition was part financed through an undisclosed commercial loan from Shawbrook Bank.
Chris Morgan, Co-Founder of BE-A, said:
“My brother Dan and I founded BE-A to help people to access training and improve their job prospects. We are so excited to be partnering with Addition to turbo-charge BE-A’s growth and soon provide our one millionth course to our loyal and valued customers.
“Ian McClelland and the Addition team bring the tools to make BE-A a dynamic community of learners from around the world.”
As part of the transaction, BE-A has appointed Ian McClelland as CEO to lead the business through the next stage of growth. Mr. McLelland has spent a 25+ year career working in start-up, SME, and multinational corporate environments helping digital businesses launch, scale or adapt to disruption.
A BAFTA-award winning digital producer, Ian was the CEO of Guardian Australia and then returned to the UK to lead Guardian Media Group’s Corporate Development, where he oversaw Guardian Masterclasses, an international education programme spanning both in-person and online formats.
Ian said: “I am very excited to join this dynamic and fast-growing business, which provides real and accessible skills to the people and companies that need it most.
“Technology is disrupting jobs around the world, and individuals need to access affordable, high-quality training programmes to increase their employability. BE-A plans to drive New Skills Academy to be the key hub for learning and upskilling in the UK and beyond.”
Addition Capital will now focus on assisting the business’ founders, Dan and Chris Morgan, with its ongoing strategic growth plans.
Jay Verjee, Managing Partner of Addition Capital – an experienced investor and business operator said:
“We are very excited to be investing in this dynamic and fast-growing business which provides real skills to individuals and companies to help people improve their lives and job prospects.
“With Ian’s leadership and our partnership with Chris and Dan Morgan – co-founders of BE-A Education – we are set to make BE-A a global leader in online affordable upskilling.”
He continued: “The acquisition itself was subject to tight timescales and Shawbrook’s flexible approach, cash flow proposition and ability to deliver helped us complete in under five weeks – regardless of both the Christmas break and a nationwide lockdown.”
Steven Munt, Director of Corporate Lending for London and South East at Shawbrook Bank, said:
“This was a fantastic opportunity to support a market-leading and growing online education provider as well as a highly credible and experienced PE investor.
“BE-A Education is an outstandingly successful business which has grown exponentially over the last few years as well as performing solidly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am personally excited to see the progress of BE-A Education under the stewardship and backing of Addition Capital.”