HMT LLP advised Ben Benson and ITG (International Training Group (Holdings) Limited) on the Management Buy-In of pioneering business training provider Interact (IRP Limited). The acquisition was supported by private equity house Rockpool Investments LLP.
Interact is an internationally renowned corporate training provider with a focus on management and leadership courses. It is unique in using actors to deliver interactive and immersive learning methodologies to provide effective practice-based learning to its clients. The approach used responds to an individuals’ specific development needs, such that they will develop skills that make an immediate and significant difference in his or her job role. Interact’s client base includes Transport for London, the Metropolitan Transport Authority of New York, Philip Morris International, Kaplan and the Royal College of GPs, amongst others.
Ben Benson is a serial entrepreneur who has extensive experience in the training industry. Ben’s experience includes five years as the Vice President of Sales in a leading US training company specialising in business skills training and performance improvement. Upon returning to the UK, Ben saw the opportunity to consolidate the highly-fragmented British training market and founded ITG to establish a human capital focussed group.
Funded by Rockpool, Interact is the first acquisition in ITG’s ambitious buy-and-build strategy to consolidate the UK corporate training market. Ben Benson becomes CEO of Interact where he will be able to put his extensive experience in this field to use, both in expanding the services offered by Interact and in substantially increasing the client base.
HMT was involved from the outset of this transaction, supporting and guiding Ben through a long journey to realise this goal. This comprised orchestrating multiple investor presentations, selecting a preferred equity partner, negotiating deal terms with the equity partner and the vendor and significant efforts to bring the deal to completion, including guiding all parties through the final legal process.
Ben Benson, CEO of ITG commented:
“HMT understood our capital needs and supported our quest to find an appropriate equity partner. HMT believed in this transaction from the get-go: their ceaseless support, advice and willingness to roll their sleeves up and lead the process from the front was essential for getting the deal done. This acquisition will expand our training capabilities in the UK, Europe and the USA and provides us with additional capabilities to continue our market leadership. The acquisition of Interact further strengthens ITG’s strategic position as a major provider of corporate development skills training in the UK.”
Darren Green, Investment Director at Rockpool commented:
“Rockpool and our investors are delighted to support ITG’s buy and build programme starting with Interact, an innovative company working with blue chip clients both in the UK and internationally. We look forward to supporting Ben as he grows the business and develops its strategy. This is the first deal we have worked on with HMT and it was their hands-on approach and energy that drove the deal to completion. Adrian showed great commitment and a robust approach and we look forward to building on this first deal and further developing our relationship in the future.”
Adrian Howells commented:
“Having worked with Ben on investigating a number of opportunities in the last 18 months, Interact represented a unique target company but this brought its own deal doing challenges. Leading a management buy-in meant we needed to take the time to understand the proposition and Ben’s deep experience in the corporate training industry and his vision for ITG, so we could source the most appropriate private equity investor.
In partnering with Rockpool, both parties bought into how together they would deliver the vision whilst meeting the challenges of acquiring a business from a founder manager.
It has been a pleasure putting this deal together and seeing it through to completion and we wish Ben every success in growing the business and look forward to working with him on the buy and build.”