Ten Education Limited / Isfield Investments
Cavendish is pleased to announce the sale of The Key through a management buy-out backed by the family office, Isfield Investments.
The Key is a pioneering digital knowledge management and event company providing professional information and support to senior teachers and governors in the UK. The Key was started in response to a government initiative in 2007. Since then it has grown to become a well-run, sustainable business which serves a membership of nearly 50,000 school leaders and governors in over 9,000 schools. The Key provides these school leadership teams with information and guidance in response to their questions, data insights, conferences on topical issues and magazines.
Cavendish was appointed to sell the business in 2013 and managed a process involving a number of strategic buyers and financial investors. Isfield Investments emerged as the preferred investor due to the valuation they placed on the business, their close alignment with management’s strategy and their scope to make available additional resources to back management’s plan to further improve and expand the services offered by The Key to its members.
Andrew Jeffs, Partner for Business Services at Cavendish, commented:
“The Key is a shining example of a wider trend in the economy where entrepreneurs are embracing digital technology to deliver services in more flexible and efficient ways. This approach creates truly scalable businesses which are currently of great interest to both trade and financial buyers.”
Alex Cheatle, founder of The Key commented:
“Since its launch, The Key has grown into a wonderful business in its own right led by a talented and pioneering team, committed to supporting improvement in school leadership. In exiting the business, it was important to me that it be at the right price for the shareholders and to an investor who recognised the unique character of The Key and was committed to its future success.
I believe the sale to Isfield Investments achieves this and the Cavendish team have been with us every step of the way.
“This transaction is a hugely important step in the company’s development, strongly positioning the business for its next phase of growth, allowing us to meet the growing need for secondary school students to learn in an independent, fluid and remote manner.”
“Cortland shares our core values and our customers focus, and their additional resources will help us accelerate our growth in the UK market.”
“Thank you to John and your fantastic team at FinnCap Cavendish for your unwavering support, dedication, work ethic and belief in Xexec’s mission. John, Mike and Sam were instrumental in bringing the deal to a successful completion and provided invaluable guidance throughout the process.
We look forward to our new partnership with the Castik and Abry teams who are the ideal partners as we continue to expand our business and pursue the next phase of our strategy.”
‘The finnCapCavendish team were great to work with, they took time to listen, properly understand our objectives and tailored the process to get a fantastic result for us. They really understood the value drivers in the ICT sector and had access to all the key buyers for our business, they were able to efficiently manage the sale process maintaining the great relationship we’d built we Adept as our preferred buyer.’
“Thank you to Jon, Steph and Chirag for their tireless efforts in recent months. Jon offered invaluable leadership and strategic advice, while Chirag and Steph provided diligent and supportive guidance throughout. They also behaved throughout as one would expect friends and confidants to act, which is very helpful in a confidential situation. We were delighted with the result and very, very pleased to have had the three of them as our team.”
“Cavendish has a great brand and great people, and from the moment the appointment was made, we knew we were in safe hands. The Cavendish team of Andrew, Steve and Paris delivered the right advice at all times. The strength of their international reach brought parties to the table including ZEDRA who we would never have found ourselves and who saw the potential in our business and our team. Cavendish controlled the process and the negotiations throughout. They also understood how we felt as founders to be selling a business we had built over 12 years. Many thanks once again to the Cavendish team – I would highly recommend them.”
“This deal represents a fantastic opportunity for our investors to support an established and well managed business with an excellent reputation in the facilities management sector. We are delighted with the debt financing package arranged by finnCap, which was a critical element to the completion of the transaction. We were extremely pleased with how the process was managed by the finnCap Debt Advisory Team, which provided us with optionality to select the most appropriate banking partner for CMS.”
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.
“It was a great pleasure to work with the Cavendish team once again. Having successfully worked together on the sale of our Payroll business in 2018, Cavendish were our natural choice of advisors. The team demonstrated a deep understanding of the sector and provided sound and trusted advice throughout the process.
We are confident the business will continue to flourish under IRIS Software Group’s ownership, further developing and delivering our market-leading software to new markets, and we look forward to working together during this next chapter.”
“I am very grateful to Joe Stelzer and the Cavendish team for their efforts in managing this transaction. Express Vending will operate as a standalone business unit while continuing to develop new and innovative product offerings. The Cavendish team were hands-on and provided invaluable advice throughout the process and ultimately achieved a successful outcome for all shareholders.”
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