A UK private equity house has acquired educational resource provider Findel Education in a £30 million transaction just months after the company’s merger with YPO was abandoned.

Leeds-based Endless has announced its takeover of Findel Education, which sells products and materials to schools and nurseries, using funds from its new £400 million Fund V.

Findel Education, which has traded since 1817, had planned to merge with YPO, which stands for Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation – but the tie-up was cancelled in November after the UK’s competition watchdog raised red flags over the proposed deal.

Endless has bankrolled a management buyout led by Findel Education’s existing management team of Chris Mahady, chief executive, Mark Whittaker, chief financial officer, and Martin Jones, chief investment officer. Paul McClenaghan, chief executive of Victoria Plum has been installed as chairman following the acquisition.

The transaction sees Studio Retail Group, Findel Education’s former owner, sell its controlling stake in the company.

Andy Ross, partner, Endless, said: “We are delighted to be backing Chris, Mark, Martin and the entire Findel Education team to deliver our shared vision for the business and look forward to working closely with them in the coming years. We believe that this is an exciting opportunity to acquire and develop a truly market leading business.”

Mahady said: “We are pleased to have secured the investment from Endless and strongly believe that together we can develop the company at pace, through investing in our brands and capabilities in the wider schools and nurseries marketplace. We would also like to thank Studio Retail Group for the support they have given Findel Education during their ownership.”

Date published: 20 April 2021

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