From education to employment

Major Learning Solutions Provider Acquires ReMIT from Retail Motor Industry Federation

In a further bid for enhanced earnings and a broader protfolio, writes Jethro Marsh for FE News, one of the leading learning solutions providers in the UK, Carter & Carter Group Plc has announced the acquisition of Retail Motor Industry Training Limited (ReMIT).

The acquisition is worth a total of £25.5 million, which will see some £3 million deferred in payment. ReMIT has been purchased from the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) and will enhance company earnings in the year ending 31st July 2007. The announcement will enhance Carter & Carter’s position as a market leader and further enhance their skills provision portfolio following recent acquisitions of Assa Training and Learning (to read more, please click here) and blue chip training provider Fern Group (to read more, please click here).

The Reasoning

The position of Carter & Carter Group Plc at the forefront of the skills and training provision market in the UK allows the Group to work with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and with the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to address key areas of skills shortages. The organisation’s Vocational Learning division seeks to balance the contributions from Government and employers to offer learning programmes relevant to the workplace.

The reasons for the acquisition of ReMIT, a leading provider of Government funded programmes for automotive engineers, included establishing the Group as the clear UK leader for Government funded apprenticeship programmes for automotive technicians, adding 6,400 learners to their books, and offering improved learning materials through increasing the efficiency per learner in a larger parent body. There will also be considerable effort exerted to access blue chip clients and independent motor trade representatives.

Crunching the Numbers

The addition of ReMIT adds a significant slice of the market to Carter & Carter Group’s remit. In the year that ended on 31st December 2005, ReMIT generated sales of £25.2 million and a before-tax profit of £1.2 million with gross assets of £10.6 million. The costs of absorbing and restructuring ReMIT to slot comfortably within Carter & Carter’s methods of operations are expected to amount to £2.5 million, mostly incurred by the end of 2006.

Speaking of the acquisition, the Chief Executive of Carter & Carter Phillip Carter said: “We are delighted to announce this very important strategic acquisition. It represents a further strengthening of our position as the leading vocational learning provider in the UK, particularly in the automotive industry. The acquisition more than doubles our number of apprentices, extends our network of training facilities and provides significant opportunities to derive synergies from the enlarged business. As a result we anticipate that this transaction will make an important contribution to our ongoing goal of increasing shareholder value.”

It seems that Carter & Carter Group are determined to expand still further and establish themselves at the very pinnacle of their market. The acquisition of other training providers would seem to be part of a continuing trend towards fewer but larger training providers as the diverse market obeys market pressures. It is hoped that the feared narrowing of services on offer will not materialise, but that this move, and others, will see standards maintained at a constant level across the sector.

Jethro Marsh

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