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BPP sold to private equity giant

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TDR Capital snaps up education provider

BPP University has been sold to private equity house TDR Capital.

The sale comes after reports speculated last week that a deal was imminent.

TDR Capital is acquiring BPP University, of which BPP Law School is a subsidiary, from Vanta Education (formerly Apollo Global) for an undisclosed sum.

As part of the deal, BPP will be run as a standalone company under the existing management team and remain headquartered in London.

BPP’s CEO Graham Gaddes said: “This is a significant vote of confidence not only in our business and our management team, but also its strategy and the long-term future of UK higher education and professional training.”

“TDR are long-term investors with a strong track record of supporting management teams and investing in businesses to achieve growth. We believe they will prove excellent partners for BPP and we are hugely excited by the opportunity to continue building on our successes and achievements across the whole business, helping thousands of professionals and employers achieve their respective goals, as we continue ‘Building Careers Through Education’.”

The 2021 Legal Cheek SQE Providers List

BPP last changed hands in 2009 for $607 million (then £373 million) but a reported sale attempt in 2019 was abandoned after no buyer came through.

Jon Rosen of TDR added: “We are excited to work with Graham and his team and support the excellent work they are doing. We believe there are compelling opportunities to build on their strengths in the face of growing demand for high-quality education courses and training programmes.”

“We have a history of supporting the successful growth of leading businesses across a number of different sectors, combining ambitious growth plans and strategic focus with targeted investment. This is an exciting time to be investing in education, an important sector for the UK and globally, as the need for highly skilled workers continually increases.”

TDR Capital owns a host of companies in the UK and beyond, including David Lloyd Leisure, Stonegate Pubs and half of the EG Group of petrol stations. It recently formed part of a consortium that bought Asda from Walmart, subject to clearance from the competition watchdog.

News of the sale comes just months before the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) comes into force on 1 September 2021. The new two-part assessment is set to shake-up legal education and has paved the way for a number of new training providers to enter the market.

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17 Comments

anon

It’s an incredible business model to be fair. All the main firms in London send their future trainees there to do a highly commoditised tick box course with a very low failure rate and minimal teaching time. And then there all the other training contract hopefuls who pay through the nose for it.

Anon

!!!!! THIS !!!!!!

This is the cold hard truth about the bullshit LPC. Unfortunately the LPC just makes it much worse. Expect an LSAT or Bar Prep Course style teaching provider to get sold to a PE firm in the near future because of the SQE.

Hopefully TCLA can break this nonsense duopoly in the next 10-15 years.

Anon

****SQE makes it much worse

tips@legalcheek.com

What is TCLA? thecorporatelawacademy.com?

TCLALALALA

TCLA competing against ULaw & BPP? Move along, their founder only made it as he couldn’t cut it in a US law firm

Jonathan Price

Duopoly? There are a whiole heap of providers.

PE NQ

Beautiful 🙂

24/7 TCLA Maniac & Private Equity Enthusiast

What’s the whack like at your place these days boss?

PE NQ

2 and 20 😉

Elite Warwick Grad - 68.5% average final year i.e. basically a First

Can’t wait to work on mega-deals like this during my SQE preparation course course next year! I’m sure the fees will be worth it!

Durham Grad

Looking forward to seeing you there – will be at the front with the suit on 🙂

Red Ed

Wouldn’t have this sort of nonsense under Corbyn

Alan

So true Ed. PE firms are parasites that aim at sapping all value out of business and putting it into the hands of a rich few. This is not the sort of behaviour or escapade that will do good for the many.

Anonymous

Which law firms advised the barioisbparties ?

The Case for PE

As someone who’s currently interning in a PE division of a BB – this is fascinating. BPP is not only used by law firm trainees and training contract hopefuls but is also used by accounting firms to complete the ACA exams (KPMG is the main culprit here), and also migrants/ people wanting a 2nd take at education (access courses). As an institute, BPP is threatened by the introduction of the SQE/ new training providers & remote university which brings to light their sometimes unreasonable fees. Organisations will be asking for more value for money and it only takes one organisation to switch to another provider for others to follow suit.

On a side note, those disparaging PE and aiming to enter corporate law have got their priorities misplaced. PE clients (especially given the SPAC boom is driving client service organisations (IB’s, FDD/ Valuations Big 4, MBB/Strategy Consulting firms, CorpLaw Firms into serious money.

Kirkland NQ

I advised on this

Sceptical

Another venture capitalist buys a private law school – didn’t do much for the University of Law. Give it two years and it will be sold again. Good luck to those that work there….for now

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