23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 13:57

Private equity firm buys College of Law

Category: Headlines

Published: 17th Apr 2012 16:22:17

A private equity firm has bought a UK college with its own degree-awarding powers - in a groundbreaking deal for the UK's higher education sector.

The College of Law has been bought by Montagu Private Equity for an amount approaching £200m.

The college, set up as a charity, provides law courses in London and in other regional centres in England.

Nigel Savage, the college's chief executive, welcomed the takeover by this "well-resourced partner".

There had been earlier speculation that an established education firm would want to buy the college - as a way of establishing a bridgehead into the higher education market.

But the winning bidder is a London-based private equity firm, Montagu, which says it has assets worth £3.9bn under management.

The College of Law is one of five private higher education institutions with the power to award its own degrees.

Under a proposed shake-up of the UK higher education sector it was expected to become easier for new entrants into the higher education sector.

This deal will ensure there is a well-funded charity and a successful international higher education business”

But there has been uncertainty over whether such proposals would be carried forward as legislation.

This would make institutions which already have their own degree-awarding powers more valuable.

Funds from the sale will be used to set up a charitable arm - the Legal Education Foundation - which will provide scholarships and bursaries.

This will be separated from the business of selling courses through the college.

The College of Law, with its origins in the Law Society, was set up as a charitable institution in the 1960s. It has about 7,000 students.

Prof Savage described the deal as the "beginning of an exciting new era in the history of the college for all concerned".

Montagu director, Alex Dabbous, said the new owners wanted to "grow the business, enabling it to reach its full potential, and focus on delivering the highest standards of education".

The firm's investments have included telecommunications, software, airfield lighting, waste management and healthcare.

This will be the first stake in the education market.

This marks an advance of the private sector into higher education - and also highlights the perceived value of university and higher education institutions.

Universities Minister David Willetts said the buyout by Montagu was an "excellent outcome"

"This deal will ensure there is a well-funded charity and a successful international higher education business."

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Private equity firm buys College of Law [Online] (Updated 17th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1422873/Private-equity-firm-buys-College-of-Law [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • MH370 search: investigators examine Australia debris

    Authorities in Australia are examining material washed ashore to determine if it is related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
  • World Championship 2014: David Gilbert angered by display

    David Gilbert admitted he had been outclassed after his World Championship campaign came to an abrupt end with a 10-4 defeat by last year's Crucible runner-up Barry Hawkins.
  • Squirrel found 'nesting' on sheep in Suffolk

    A baby squirrel was found "nesting" in the thick woollen fleece of a sheep in Suffolk, its owner said.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Ty Hafan hospice care boss cleared of misconduct

    The director of care at a children's hospice has been cleared of professional misconduct over the way she dealt with a dying teenager.
  • Hull Truck theatre gets £400,000 bail-out

    The Hull Truck theatre has received £400,000 in emergency grants to help it out of financial crisis.