From education to employment

Learning Curve Group continues to grow with acquisition of Profound Group

Learning Curve Group has further strengthened its education and training provision to employers and individuals with the acquisition of Profound Group.  The acquisition makes Learning Curve Group one of the largest national training providers in the UK.

County Durham based Profound Group is a growing training and employment agency, providing work-based learning and employability programmes.  Becoming part of the Learning Curve Group, Profound will continue to offer its services to its client base as well as give them access to the Group’s wider provision.

The acquisition, which is for an undisclosed sum, includes Northern Care Training Ltd, which was purchased by Profound in 2011 to expand its services into the health and social care sector.

In addition to the delivery of apprenticeships across a portfolio of vocations, ranging from accountancy, beauty and construction to business, education and property, Profound offers traineeships to help 16-24-year-olds with little or no work experience gain the skills they need to help them gain employment.

The business also operates a warehouse and forklift training centre and holds a number of contracts with North East schools to provide a Careers Education and Guidance service.

Founded in 2006 by owner Steven Ward, Profound employs 90 people and 43 associates working with, on average, around 5,500 learners annually.  The owner and other existing shareholders exited the business upon completion of the acquisition.

The purchase of Profound is part of Learning Curve Group’s continuing development strategy, which is being delivered both organically and through the targeted acquisitions of complementary businesses that can enhance the Group’s provision to its national client base.

Supporting individuals, employers and the FE sector across the UK, Learning Curve Group works with more than 100,000 learners a year and, alongside its vocational training programmes, is the largest publisher of specialist FE materials at levels two and three, which are available as print and online distance learning resources.

An EY team led by Richard Harding and James Walker provided financial and tax due diligence services to Learning Curve Group, whilst Damien Bechelli and Danielle Kidd from DWF Glasgow worked on the legal aspects of the deal.

The shareholders of Profound Group were advised by members of Ward Hadaway’s Corporate team, James Nightingale and Claire French and Alex Wright from the firm’s Real Estate team.

Brenda McLeish, CEO of Learning Curve Group, said:

“There are some strong synergies between the two businesses, which makes Profound a perfect fit to support the growth of Learning Curve Group.  The continued expansion of Learning Curve Group through organic and acquisitive growth is both exciting and rewarding and brings fantastic opportunities for our combined breadth of provision. 

“We share a dedicated approach to supporting individuals, education providers and employers that will be enhanced by enabling Profound clients to access our wider provision and helping to develop the services it provides as a part of Learning Curve Group. This will help us achieve our core goal to transform lives through learning”

Steven Ward, Managing Director and Founder of Profound Group, said:

“Learning Curve Group is well placed to take Profound Group on to the next level and have ambitious plans moving forward. I would like to place on record my thanks to the team and their efforts to build the group to where it is today and to our advisors for their assistance throughout this process.”

Judith Allen, former Profound CEO and new Chief Operating Officer at Learning Curve Group said:

“Becoming part of Learning Curve Group is a significant step in the future of Profound Services.  Learning Curve Group is nationally-recognised and will provide the business with the opportunity to enter new markets and regions with our range of services, along with expanding our offering with Learning Curve Group’s comprehensive education and training activities.”

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