In July 2007, we backed the £24 million management buyout of Teaching Personnel, the specialist teacher recruitment business, investing £9.7 million of equity.
The business was founded in 1996 and is a leading provider of supply teachers, teaching assistants and nursery nurses, both short and long term, to schools throughout England and Wales.
Attracted by the opportunity to back a highly motivated and experienced management team operating in a fast growing niche of the services sector, we engaged in a restricted selling process coordinated by corporate finance boutique Clearwater. We structured an offer that was attractive to the incumbent management and was acceptable to the selling shareholder. We ensured the support of management for their proposal by responding quickly, demonstrating an empathy for the business and their plan, and then delivering on the deal originally agreed.
We supported Mark Weavis, Managing Director at the time of the buyout, in his plan to create value through driving consistent organic growth. Mark transformed the business from an exclusively call centre based offering by developing a branch network to enable recruitment consultants to provide a proactive, local and high quality service to the schools in their area. The number of branches grew from 23 at the time of our investment to 32 at the time of our exit.
Mark Weavis, Teaching Personnel
We are very much looking forward to working with RJD to realise the potential of Teaching Personnel’s branch based business model over the next few years. Teaching Personnel’s management sees the MBO as an ideal opportunity to consolidate the company’s position as the top quality provider of recruitment solutions to schools and teachers in England and Wales.
With the success of this strategy apparent, we worked in partnership with Mark to plan for the next stage in the business’ development and for his and our eventual exit. We recruited John Bowman as Managing Director in March 2009, which enabled Mark to become non-executive Chairman.
In February 2010, Teaching Personnel was featured in The Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private equity-backed companies with the fastest growing profits over the latest two years.
We sold our investment in Teaching Personnel in July 2010 in a secondary buyout led by John Bowman. The transaction valued Teaching Personnel at £45 million, giving us a return of over 3x our original investment. Teaching Personnel was the first realisation from our second fund.
We enjoyed supporting an exceptionally strong management team in growing a leading provider of recruitment solutions to schools in England and Wales. We were delighted with the performance of the business under our ownership and we believe that this highly fragmented section of the education market will continue to provide considerable opportunities for Teaching Personnel in the future.