Teaching Personnel Switches Sponsors

Graphite Capital has sponsored a 45 million management buyout of Teaching Personnel, a UK-based provider of teachers and support staff to schools. The seller was RJD Partners.


Graphite Capital, the leading UK mid-market private equity specialist, is backing the £45 million management buyout of Teaching Personnel, the UK’s third largest provider of supply teachers and support staff to schools, from private equity managers RJD Partners.

Graphite and the Teaching Personnel management team plan to develop the business through a combination of organic growth, strategic acquisitions and a broadening of its service offering. Clydesdale Bank Corporate & Structured Finance is providing acquisition finance and working capital facilities. Graphite has acquired a significant majority stake and the management team are re-investing a substantial proportion of their proceeds in the business.

Teaching Personnel has outperformed the market in recent years with turnover having increased at a compound annual growth rate of 13 per cent between 2006 and 2009. Profits have also grown strongly and the business continues to perform well in the current year.

Through its network of 32 branches, Teaching Personnel supplies teachers, teaching assistants and nursery nurses, both short and long term, to some 4,000 of the 30,000 primary and secondary schools in England and Wales, including those providing for special educational needs. There remains a significant opportunity for the continued expansion of the branch network.

The agency sector, which fulfils a critical need and conducts the important teaching vetting processes, now accounts for an estimated 45 per cent of the teaching supply market. The company is able to utilise its sophisticated IT systems to match the abilities of its candidates with the specific requirements of each school, thereby ensuring that requirements can be satisfied in a timely, professional and consistent manner.

Graphite has considerable experience of investing in the recruitment sector, having backed companies such as Alexander Mann Solutions, a global provider of recruitment process outsourcing solutions; NES, which operates in the oil and gas industry; and general recruitment firms PSD (now named OPD Group) and Huntress.

John Bowman, managing director of Teaching Personnel, said: “We were impressed by Graphite’s track record in the sector and their operating style. We look forward to working with them on our ambitious growth plans in a market ripe for consolidation.”

Graphite senior partner Mike Tilbury said: “Teaching Personnel is a first class business, with a strong management team and an impressive trading performance. It provides a critical service. We believe it has excellent potential for growth both organically, through the roll-out of new branches and services, and via strategic acquisitions.”

Mike Tilbury, Mark Hall, Simon ffitch and Mark Hudson managed the transaction for Graphite.