19 April 2016

The Corporate Finance team at Burges Salmon has advised specialist fund manager Bridges Ventures LLP and management on their sale of Babington Group to RJD Partners.

Bridges Ventures, which operates as a specialist sustainable and impact investor, initially invested in Babington Group in 2009. Under Bridges Ventures’ ownership, not only has Babington subsequently seen its revenue increase by more than £13m, but it has also been able to support over 32,000 learners, and help over 3,700 formerly unemployed people to find jobs.

A skills shortage continues to hamper the UK’s economic recovery, with one in five job vacancies remaining unfilled; while employment among 16-24 year-olds continues to lag behind pre-crisis levels, with almost a million classified as NEET (not in education, employment or training). Bridges Ventures felt that Babington’s high-quality apprenticeships and traineeships could help address this skills gap, by allowing businesses to harness fresh talent and enabling staff to develop specialist skills through on-the-job training.

The Burges Salmon team, led by partner Richard Spink with support from senior associate Tim Roberts and specialists from across the firm, advised the selling shareholders on all legal aspects of the sale.

Richard said: 'We have worked in the education and training sector for many years and so were delighted to have been involved in the transaction. The team have clearly been hugely successful in growing the business since Bridges’ original investment and we are sure that the management team will continue that success in the next stage of development of the business with RJD Partners.'

Garret Turley of Bridges Ventures LLP said: “Richard, Tim and their Burges Salmon colleagues worked tirelessly with Bridges and Babington management to ensure the exit was a success for all parties. Their sector knowledge was invaluable in helping navigate the process and they combined professionalism with a real team approach to the deal, which made it a pleasure to work with them.”

Key contact

Richard Spink

Richard Spink Partner

  • Head of Corporate and Financial Institutions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity

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