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A private equity titan has just forked out £700m for IT training biz QA

Education provider has 'ambitious growth plans'

By Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2017

IT training company QA has been bought out by Europe's largest private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners.

The deal is worth £700m, according to the Financial Times, although the partners declined to disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

QA, which provides 1,500 training courses across 20 UK centres, was bought by Bregal Investments in 2007.

Edmund Lazarus, who was formerly managing partner at Bregal Capital, said that although the terms of the transaction "are not being disclosed, QA will rank as one of the very best investments of its vintage".

He added that when QA was acquired a decade ago, its revenues and earnings earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were £2m.

"Today the company's run rate EBITDA is over £50m. This is a remarkable achievement."

QA operates four businesses – QA Learning, QA Apprenticeships, QA Consulting and QA Higher Education.

CEO William Macpherson said in a statement that QA had "expanded rapidly to become the UK's leading IT education and skills provider" and praised the partnership it had with Bregal.

"I am looking forward to forging an equally successful partnership with CVC," Macpherson added. "Their record of supporting expansion, together with their UK and international reach provides QA with a significant platform for success as we seek to execute our ambitious growth plans."

CVC's current portfolio includes UK-based credit and retail store card provider NewDay, managed services provider Wireless Logic and Czech security software firm Avast, as well as Sky Bet and Belgian Continental Foods. ®

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