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Exclusive: QA preparing for £40-50m refinancing

The skills training business QA has confirmed it is about to refinance, EducationInvestor can reveal.
QA is one of the UK's leading providers of IT training courses, delivering programmes to more than 5,000 SME and corporate clients. Bregal Capital invested in the firm in 2007, since when it’s acquired rivals the Xpertise Group, Remarc Group and Aikona Management. 
Earlier this year Bregal was rumoured to be seeking a sale, but sources said that it would instead extract “£40 million to £50” million in cash from the business by introducing debt. 
The deal is not finalised but Bregal is "targeting completion in the next couple of weeks”, they said.
Bregal managing partner Edmund Lazarus would not confirm the quantum of debt , but said: "QA continues to perform strongly and as a result is generating substantial cash flows. This has made its balance sheet very conservative. As a result QA, working with its debt advisor Marlborough Partners, is considering a further refinancing.” 
This will be the second refinancing QA has done. Taken together, the two transactions should leave Bregal with twice what it initially invested in QA, without it having to sell any equity. It is understood that QA will not be aggressively re-geared.
According to Companies House, QA IQ Investments – a holding company for the group – had turnover of £123.1 million in 2013, up from £111.2 million in 2012. Operating profit stood at £14.7 million, up from £12.9 million.

Posted on: 24/09/2014

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