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News Corporate 8th Jan 2024

Now Education completes management buyout

National law firm Freeths have played a key role on the buyout of Now Education Group advising Alex Westworth, the new CEO of Now Education Group, as well as the wider management team.

Now Education is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of staff for primary, secondary and SEND schools across England and Wales, has announced a management buyout led by its co-founder and Managing Director, Alex Westworth.

The deal, which has been supported with institutional investment of £14m from Prefequity LLP, values the business at £28m.

Founded in 2010, Now Education supplies around 1,600 supply staff to more than 800 schools per week across England and Wales. It recruits in more than 20 regions and has permanent offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Lincoln, Liverpool, London and Nottingham. Comprising a team of nearly 40 consultants and ten back-office support staff, 95% of its business is from contract revenue with more than 75% of placements six weeks in length or longer.

The Freeths team was led by Corporate Partner Lee Clifford.

Lee was supported by a full service Freeths team which included Michelle Wilkinson and Charlotte Beddows (Banking), Kate Chattaway, Edward Chapman and Emily Arnett (Corporate), Laura Tracey (Employment), Alex Angelides (Tax).

Alex Westworth, CEO, Now Education, said:This strategic MBO has empowered me and the rest of our shareholders to shape and drive the future growth of Now Education. This milestone marks the latest chapter in our growth story and Gary Redman will be there as Chair to support us with his wealth of experience in the recruitment sector.”

Lee Clifford commented on the deal said: “It was a pleasure to advise Alex Westworth and the wider management team on the buyout of Now Education. It’s a fantastic business and the deal will help shape and drive its future growth under the leadership of Alex Westworth”.

Corporate finance advice was provided by Shaw & Co.

Rob Starr, Partner – M&A, Shaw & Co, said: “This deal has provided the ideal outcome for all stakeholders. With Alex at the helm and significant backing from Prefequity, the company has the strongest of foundations for its next stage of growth. Gary, meanwhile, will be able to enjoy the rewards of his many years of hard work while also playing an important role in taking the business forward.”

Johnny Carew-Pole, Partner, Prefequity LLP, said: “We are delighted that Prefequity’s flexible capital will support Alex and team in their management buyout and also fuel Now Education’s continued growth. Now’s business model allows it to attract and retain exceptional talent, enabling it to deliver excellent value and service for schools, as a result, Now is well-positioned to cement its place as a leading player in the market.”

Lee Clifford

Author: Lee Clifford

Partner

Michelle Wilkinson

Author: Michelle Wilkinson

Director

Author: Charlotte Beddows

Associate

Edward Chapman profile photo

Author: Edward Chapman

Managing Associate

Laura Tracey - Employment Lawyer

Author: Laura Tracey

Partner

Author: Alex Angelides

Senior Associate

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