BC Partners Buying ATI Enterprises from Riverside Company

(Reuters) – Private equity firm BC Partners is staking up to $331 million on strong growth in U.S. career training, buying Texas-based ATI Enterprises from middle-market rival The Riverside Company.

BC will invest the money from its current fund, alongside roughly $250 million of debt, to buy ATI, which offers courses in subjects such as welding, dental assisting and personal training.

London-headquartered BC said on Tuesday said it saw an “attractive market opportunity supported by underlying demographics, economics and government attention on education.”

It expected ATI to generate revenue of $245 million in 2009.

The deal is the fourth undertaken by BC this year, after it invested $350 million in Office Depot (ODP.N), bought and merged two laboratory testing companies, and put new money into Baxi as part of a merger of the boiler-maker with a Dutch rival.

Goldman Sachs advised BC Partners and arranged the financing. Robert W Baird and Piper Jaffray advised the Riverside-led consortium.

Based in Dallas, ATI Enterprises operates vocational schools and training centers in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico.

Management will keep a 12 percent stake and the deal is expected to close around the end of this year, BC said.

(Reporting by Quentin Webb; additional reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Hans Peters)