Learning Curve Group, a private equity-owned UK-based training provider, has acquired Acorn Training Consultants from Babington.

Based in Ripley, Derbyshire, Acord delivers skills training to young people through a range of courses and programmes, Learning Curve said in a press release.

The terms of the acquisition – Learning Curve’s first since being taken over by Agilitas Private Equity in March, as revealed by this publication – were not disclosed.  

Acorn was bought by apprenticeship provider Babington – whose owner is buyout house RJD Partners, which this publication interviewed earlier this year – in 2017.

Country Durham-headquartered Learning Curve, according to a statement announcing its takeover of Acorn, has delivered training to staff at more than 4,500 businesses and has over 16,000 learners.

Brenda McLeish, chief executive of Learning Curve, said: “The acquisition represents a perfect fit as both organisations share similar learner-centred values, and it presents new, exciting opportunities to our learners and employer partners, adding to our combined breadth of provision. 

“With youth unemployment being at an all-time high due to the impact of Covid-19, this acquisition will allow us to support even more young people into work.”

David Marsh, chief executive of Babington, said: “The sale of Acorn really helps Babington to now be able to focus on its core strategy and target market.”

All Acorn staff will be retained under the deal, Learning Curve said.

Earlier this year, Learning Curve bought the London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy and its counterpart London Beauty Training Academy, just weeks before it was taken over by Agilitas in a £100 million deal.

Date published: 21 September 2020

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