Operam Education Group receives investment from BGF and HSBC

Funding supports the acquisition of Teachers UK and The Education Specialists

11 March 2019: Operam Education Group, which operates in the education recruitment sector, has received investment from BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, and HSBC. The funding will support further acquisitions and organic growth.

Founded in 2017 by resourcing specialists Eddie Austin and Andrew Frome, Operam completed its first acquisition in the same year, buying Provide Education, an education recruitment agency operating across three branches with its head office in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Now entering the second phase of its buy and build strategy, Operam will use the funding from BGF and HSBC to acquire Teachers UK and The Education Specialists.

The Education Specialists have been a leading education recruitment agency in the North West since 2002, operating from two branches in Liverpool and Manchester. Teachers UK is a specialist education recruitment agency based in Mansfield that supplies teachers, lecturers and support staff to academies, schools, colleges and nurseries across the region. The acquisitions will strengthen Operam’s regional presence further across the UK and will bring almost 40 years of collective experience to the existing Operam platform.

Andy McRae, a former of MD of Hays plc and formerly CEO of Red Commerce, will join the business as non-executive Chair. Andy has a strong background in multi-site, people-centric businesses, as well as extensive M&A experience.

Eddie Austin, CEO of Operam, said: “We’re delighted to welcome The Education Specialists and Teachers UK to the Operam Group. Both are highly regarded industry specialists and will help us to broaden our reach and continue to provide high quality candidates to more schools in the regions.”

“We have built our reputation and relationships in the market through our intimate knowledge of client needs, our efficiency, and our track record in matching high-quality candidates with the right roles. Our vision for Operam is to drive growth both organically and via acquisition and build a group of real scale over the next three years. I’m excited to enter this next stage of growth with BGF and HSBC’s backing.”

Barry Jackson, who led the deal on behalf of BGF, said: “Eddie and Andrew are well-respected specialists with over 50 years’ experience in education recruitment. They have developed a strong pipeline of acquisition targets and have ambitious plans for organic growth in the coming years, and we’re delighted to be partnering with them at this exciting stage of their development.

“We’re pleased to be bringing another South Yorkshire based business into the BGF portfolio. We’re seeing more and more ambitious management teams in the region with exciting growth plans, and we’re delighted to be on the ground and supporting innovation and development.”

Paul Herriott, Corporate Finance Director at DSW, said: “Completing two acquisitions and an equity fund raise simultaneously represents a significant step change in the scale and firepower of Operam. Having advised on the original deal with Provide Education, it’s been a great pleasure to support Eddie and the team on delivering his strategic vision.”

Dow Schofield Watts advised Operam on the fund raising and acquisitions, providing Corporate Finance and Due Diligence services. Eddie Austin commented: “Having the DSW team as advisors from the very beginning of our journey meant that they were both operationally and culturally aligned to our objectives and long term business plan. Their advice, support and guidance on our funding and acquisition strategy was instrumental in making our deals happen. We also found the DSW team personable in their approach and we would have no hesitation in recommending them as a corporate finance advisor of choice”

BGF. Provide Education.
Eddie Austin, CEO Provide Education.
8th March 2019.
© Victor De Jesus