2020

Year

Sell-side

Transaction Type

Business Services

Sector

Improve International

Client

RJD Partners and Improve Management

Acquirer

Improve International / RJD Partners and Management

Cavendish advises Benchmark Holdings plc on its strategic exit of global continuing veterinary education provider Improve International to RJD Partners and Improve Management. The deal showcases Cavendish’s expertise in both corporate disposals and the global education and training sector.

Cavendish Corporate Finance, the UK’s leading sell-side mid-market M&A firm, has advised aquaculture genetics, health and specialist nutrition business Benchmark Holdings plc on its sale of Improve International, a global provider of continuing education to the veterinary sector, to RJD Partners  and the Improve management team.

Under the terms of the disposal, Benchmark will receive a total cash consideration of up to £12.75m.  RJD has taken a majority stake in the business investing alongside Improve’s management team led by Chief Executive, Heber Alves and original founder David Babington. Improve provides both specialist postgraduate courses and qualifications as well as continuing professional development training to veterinary professionals. Its key programmes are structured on a modular basis comprising both face-to-face practical and classroom learning as well as online delivery. Training is delivered directly in eight countries and through license partners in a further six.  Its fully online distance learning propositions reach a global audience.

Cavendish has extensive experience in both the global education and training sector and in advising listed corporates on disposals of non-core activities.  Corporate disposals completed by the firm in 2019 included fine wine merchant Lay & Wheeler for Naked Wines, award-winning broadcast post production business The Farm by WPP and four business as part of Centaur Media’s strategic divestment programme.

The Cavendish team for Benchmark was led by Andrew Jeffs, Partner, Business Services, Joe Stelzer, Consultant and Rebecca McCredie, Associate Director.

James Banfield, Head of Knowledge Services, Benchmark, commented: “I would thoroughly recommend Andrew and Rebecca and the Cavendish team to anyone looking to maximise the proceeds from a  disposal or asset sale. The Cavendish team are both consummate professionals, focused on delivery and pragmatic and flexible in their approach to helping their clients achieve their objectives. I would not hesitate to recommend them and would hope to work with them on future projects. They provide great value.”

Andrew Jeffs, Partner, Business Services at Cavendish Corporate Finance, commented: “We are delighted to have advised on this disposal, which is an important step in Benchmark’s strategy to exit non-core areas to focus on its key disciplines, and further strengthens their financial position and liquidity. RJD Partners with their track record in education and training are the ideal partner for Heber and the Improve team. We expect to see many more deals in the sector as investment for digital delivery is accelerated by the imperative to respond to the impact of COVID-19.”

Key Contacts

Andrew Jeffs

Partner, Business Services

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Joe Stelzer

Consultant

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Rebecca McCredie

Associate Director

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