Training company QA, owned by CVC Capital Partners, today announced the acquisition of Circus Street, which provides commercial digital skills including e-commerce, data analytics and digital marketing skills through its subscription digital platform.

Back in January, EducationInvestor exclusively revealed that Circus Street’s co-founders Jonny and Richard Townsend had instructed Houlihan Lokey, the US-headquartered investment bank, to find a buyer for the business.

Circus Street stated its platform has been used by more than 500,000 learners in over 150 countries to date.

QA’s chief executive Paul Geddes said: “Circus Street is a great company, with an amazing product and team and an enthusiastic global user base. Together we help our clients not only see the potential for digital and data to transform the products they design and how they take them to market, but also recruit, upskill and reskill the tech teams to build and run these products using modern tech approaches and platforms.”

Circus Street chief executive Richard Townsend said: “The choice of QA was obvious to us as they share our cultural values and our recognition of the importance of every individual within our business. They, like us, are focused on liberating education through innovation and inclusion and we’re tremendously excited to build on the amazing progress that both our companies have made.” 

Jonny Townsend, president of Circus Street added: “This acquisition allows us to significantly expand on our commercial success across our core regions of the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Together we will build an offering that further enhances the uniqueness of our proposition and continue to help the world’s largest brands understand how technology is modernising every aspect of their operations.”

Srikanth Iyengar, chief client officer at QA, commented: “Today our clients tell us they want to understand and build digital capability right across their business, away from the traditional silos that stand in the way of full digital transformation. As someone who already provides apprenticeships in data and digital marketing, we already see how these disciplines are at the foundation of every digital transformation, and that’s why we’ve been keen to extend our solutions into the commercial functions that design products and take them to market.

“Circus Street’s leading digital learning platform and exceptional content will make QA’s enterprise offer stronger than ever. We have significant opportunities to introduce Circus Street to QA’s clients, particularly in financial services, tech, and government, and to introduce QA to Circus Street’s clients in FMCG, pharma and manufacturing.”

Circus Street and its shareholders were advised by Houlihan Lokey (corporate finance).

Date published: 2 July 2021

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