Thu, 23 Nov 2023 | BUSINESS SALE
Astutis, a workforce health and safety training provider based in Cardiff, has been acquired by Wilmington plc in a deal worth up to £21.5 million. The deal will strengthen Wilmington’s portfolio of global governance, risk and compliance (GRC) training and education solutions, expanding the firm's offering into the health, safety and environmental areas.
The acquisition reflects Wilmington’s strategy of consolidating its strong existing presence in the large and rapidly growing GRC markets. These markets, which are evolving at a rapid pace, are underpinned by strong macro drivers, including the growing volume and enforcement of regulations, geopolitical uncertainty, increasing prominence of ESG and widespread uptake of tech and data-driven compliance solutions.
Astutis was founded in 2011 and offers training for a wide range of globally recognised and regulated qualifications in the health, safety and environmental areas. Following the acquisition, co-founders Steve Terry and Brenig Moore will remain with the business.
Wilmington will pay an initial consideration of £16.8 million for the company, along with a contingent consideration of up to £4.7 million, which will be paid based on Astutis’ performance in the two years ending June 30 2025 and June 30 2026. The total consideration will be funded through Wilmington’s existing cash resources.
Providing the full consideration is met, the deal will reflect a 10.75x multiple of Astutis’ £2 million pre-tax profit for the year to June 30 2023, generated on unaudited revenues of £7.4 million. These revenue figures represented a 25 per cent year-on-year increase, with Astutis having demonstrated strong organic growth over recent years. The deal is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full year of ownership.
Gambit dealmakers, including partner Geraint Rowe, Director Simon Marsden and Analyst Will Haggaty, were involved in the transaction. Rowe, also a founder shareholder of Astutis, said the completion of the deal highlights Gambit’s “strong credentials in the recruitment and training space” and "track record in delivering M&A advisory services which exceed shareholder expectations."
Director Simon Marsden added: "We are seeing particularly strong appetite for high quality assets in the Education and Training space and expect to see further consolidation in the sector. We are already working with a number of other clients to help them achieve their strategic objectives, which augurs well for the continued growth of our credentials in the sector."
Wilmington Chief Executive Mark Milner commented: "The acquisition of Astutis, which is earnings enhancing, is consistent with our strategy in the GRC market to broaden and strengthen our training and education capabilities.”
"Astutis embodies all of our six key business characterises in that it operates in growing GRC focussed regulated markets, has a strong and experienced management team, a comprehensive products suite, growing revenues and profits, and excellent digital capabilities."
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