Training giant BPP to go on sale

Private equity owners looking for bids in the region of £2.5bn, according to reports

Private equity owners looking for bids in the region of £2.5bn, according to reports

A private equity firm is looking to sell training giant BPP for a reported £2.5 billion.

TDR Capital bought the professional training business for less than £700 million three years ago and has since bolstered the group by acquiring digital apprenticeship providers Estio Training and Firebrand.

London-based TDR, which also backs companies like Asda and David Lloyd, has now appointed bankers from Houlihan Lokey and Morgan Stanley to auction off BPP, FE Week understands.

The Sunday Times, which first reported the plan and quoted the £2.5 billion price tag, said the sale is expected to start after the summer.

BPP trains tens of thousands of people in the UK and abroad each year in a mix of commercial and publicly-funded training courses in areas such as law, accountancy and digital marketing.

It is one of England’s largest apprenticeship providers, ranking in the top five companies that earned the most from the levy in 2021/22 when it received more than £36 million. 

Last year, in 2022/23, the BPP group recorded almost 10,000 apprenticeship starts. Most apprentices are on the level 7 accountancy and taxation professional programme.

After taking over Estio Training, BPP appointed current Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ chair Nichola Hay as its director of apprenticeship strategy and policy.

BPP, which also runs a law school called BPP University, was founded in 1976. It was bought by Vanta Education in 2009 until TDR acquired the business in 2021.

Last year, BPP also acquired the Digital Marketing Institute training company, and this year it bought Buttercups Training, which offers programmes for pharmacists and hospital support staff.

TDR Capital and BPP declined to comment.

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