Business Services


Ten Education Limited


Isfield Investments

Acquired By

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.

Key Contacts

Peter Gray


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Andrew Jeffs

Partner & Head of Business Services

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