In 2010 Graphite Capital backed a talented CEO to lead the £45 million management buy-out of Teaching Personnel, the number 3 player in the provision of supply teachers and teaching assistants to schools. A year later, Graphite supported the company to acquire Protocol Education, the fifth largest company in the sector, for £31 million, creating Education Personnel, the number 1 player. The businesses were successfully integrated and a coordinated organic growth strategy was formulated based on the continued roll-out of the group's national branch network under the two existing trading brands.
The transaction represented an opportunity to benefit from the strongly increasing demand for education supply staff by schools. At the macro level this was being driven by the government's intention to improve education standards combined with a rising level of pupil numbers. At the school level, increasingly stringent regulations and candidate vetting requirements, combined with reduced support from local education authorities, had resulted in more schools turning to external providers like Education Personnel. The company offered schools a range of staffing solutions, a high quality of service delivered at a localised level access to the best and widest range of candidates.
Key Business Achievements
Achieved strong growth in profitability and increased revenues by over 60%
Increased the number of branches from 52 to 67
Created more than 100 jobs, taking the total staff number to 477
Grew the number of school customers by 16% to c.7,200
Placed more than 16,000 candidates per annum into schools
Return on Graphite's Investment
In May 2014, Education Personnel was sold for £300 million to ICG plc, generating a money multiple of 5.8 times and an IRR of 68 per cent.