BPP has been sold to private equity house TDR Capital, in what is the educational provider’s first change in ownership since 2009.
BPP, which provides legal education and training, as well as courses in accountancy and finance, had been owned by Vanta Education, previously known as Apollo.
Founded in 1992, Apollo Global acquired BPP for £368m in 2009 and owned it through a period of radical change in which the institution eventually secured university status, though the process was not without turbulence. It was put in the market in the summer of 2019, although initially no buyers were found. Last August, its degree-awarding powers, previously temporary, were granted indefinite status under the Office for Students’ new regulatory framework.
Its new owners – TDR Capital – own a number of leading brands, most notably ASDA. The deal was agreed last year for nearly £7bn with the Issa brothers, while TDR’s other brands include David Lloyd Leisure and a recent bid for Aggreko.
Kirkland & Ellis, which has advised TDR on its most recent transactions, led on the BPP acquisition too. The team was led by partners David Holdsworth and Rachel Greenhalgh, along with associate Nick Appleton.
Vanta Education sought counsel from Eversheds Sutherland partner Chris Halliday, with BPP’s management advised by Dickson Minto.
Graham Gaddes, the CEO of BPP, said: “This is a significant vote of confidence not only in our business and our management team, but also its strategy and the long-term future of UK higher education and professional training.
“TDR are long-term investors with a strong track record of supporting management teams and investing in businesses to achieve growth. We believe they will prove excellent partners for BPP and we are hugely excited by the opportunity to continue building on our successes and achievements across the whole business, helping thousands of professionals and employers achieve their respective goals, as we continue ‘Building Careers Through Education’”.
Jon Rosen of TDR, added: “We are excited to work with Graham and his team and support the excellent work they are doing. We believe there are compelling opportunities to build on their strengths in the face of growing demand for high-quality education courses and training programmes.
“We have a history of supporting the successful growth of leading businesses across a number of different sectors, combining ambitious growth plans and strategic focus with targeted investment. This is an exciting time to be investing in education, an important sector for the UK and globally, as the need for highly skilled workers continually increases.”