Jun 23, 2020
Lexington Corporate Finance has acted as lead Corporate Finance Advisor to the MBO team of Improve International Limited (“Improve”), a global provider of continuing professional education to the veterinary sector, on the acquisition of Improve from its parent company, Benchmark plc – the transaction was backed by RJD Partners (“RJD”).
Improve, which is based outside Swindon, has operations across the world and provides both specialist postgraduate courses and qualifications as well as continuing professional development training to veterinary professionals. Its key programmes are structured on a modular basis comprising both face to face practical and classroom learning as well as online delivery. The team has overseen impressive growth both domestically and overseas with training is delivered directly in eight countries and through license partners in a further six.
Benchmark plc will receive a total cash consideration of up to £12.75m, comprising a £9.5m initial payment on completion and deferred consideration of up to £3.25m dependent on certain performance conditions being met.
RJD has taken a majority stake in Improve, investing alongside the Management team led by CEO, Heber Alves who is based in Improve’s Portuguese office, and original founder, David Babington. Frank Bulman, Emily Henderson and Richard Caston led the investment for RJD and Frank and Emily will be joining the board of Improve.
Improve has exciting growth plans for the coming years and will work closely with RJD to continue develop its customer propositions, including its digital delivery, and build an infrastructure to support further international growth both organically and via acquisition.
Lexington advised the Senior Management Team throughout the transaction process and supported RJD to complete their investment. Gary Partridge, Thomas Edwards and Pablo Shorney worked with the Improve team over the last nine-months which included providing advice on all commercial aspects of their investment and the equity incentive arrangements for the Team going forward.
Gary Partridge, Lexington’s Managing Director, said: “It was a pleasure to work with Heber and his Team and to get this transaction across the line despite the headwinds created by COVID. Improve is a fantastic business, a true global leader in its field. We wish the team all the best and future success.”
Heber Alves said: “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for all the support and advice that Lexington provided us throughout the entire process. Their dedication, expertise and commitment are second to none and I’d have no hesitation in recommending or using their services again.”
Legal advice to Management was provided by Clark Holt whilst Capital Law (legal) and Grant Thornton (financial due diligence) advised RJD.