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Bridgepoint in the News

01 November 2016

Bridgepoint Development Capital acquires Inspiring Learning

Inspiring Learning, a UK headquartered provider of residential activity centres and educational trips for primary and secondary school children, has been acquired by Bridgepoint Development Capital for an undisclosed sum from aPriori Capital and Ares Management.

Inspiring Learning, a UK headquartered provider of residential activity centres and educational trips for primary and secondary school children, has been acquired by Bridgepoint Development Capital for an undisclosed sum from aPriori Capital and Ares Management.

The company has two divisions - Kingswood, an operator of 10 residential activity centres with over 4,000 beds principally in the North, East and South East of the UK. This is the larger part of the group and has a 30 year heritage in providing educational residential courses for school children and also provides the residential element of the government's National Citizenship Service aimed at 15-17 year olds. In addition, Kingswood also operates Camp Beaumont Day Centres which provide non-residential day and multiple-day courses for working parents in London during the school holidays. The company's other division, Equity, provides curriculum linked educational tours, ski trips and sports tours.

Kingswood has demonstrated a strong track record of growth under the current management team, opening new sites and expanding existing ones to provide its broad base of school customers with high quality facilities and tailored activities that meet their 'out of classroom' learning objectives.

John Bentley, Inspiring Learning's CEO, said: "'Out of the classroom' learning is a key component of our country's national curriculum as schools look to produce rounded and confident children. Inspiring Learning contributes to that aim and with the backing of a new shareholder we now have the ability to accelerate the expansion of our service offering."

Robin Lawson, director of Bridgepoint Development Capital, added: "Inspiring Learning is a national operator of scale in a sector experiencing solid growth that is capable of growing both organically and by acquisition thanks to its strong capital base and a recognized ability to provide the volume and variety of out of classroom learning experiences required by schools nationally."

The market for private providers of residential activity centres in the UK is currently worth £130 million p.a and is forecast to continue to grow at c.8-10% p.a. over the next five years. In the year ended 31 October 2015 Inspiring Learning had revenues of £69.7 million.

Debt for the transaction was provided by Barings and Crescent Capital; RBS provided ancillary working capital facilities. Advisers involved in the transaction were:

- For BDC - Deloitte (buyside corporate finance, FDD, CDD, tax, debt), ERM (environmental), Marsh (insurance), Travers (legal)

- For Management - Cornerstone (corporate finance), PwC (tax), Macfarlanes (legal)

- For Vendor - DC Advisory (corporate finance), DLA Piper (legal), Deloitte (FDD & Tax), Parthenon (CDD), White Hart Associates (legal)


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