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Gresham acquires business training company

The UK mid-market firm is looking to roll out 7city Group’s business internationally and to increase its product range after backing a management buyout.

UK mid-market firm Gresham Private Equity has bought out professional training company 7city Group from some of its founding shareholders for an undisclosed sum.

The business’ sales have grown from £11 million (€15.5 million; $22.7 million) in 2006 to in excess of £17 million this year, Simon Hemley, a Gresham partner, said.

Hemley said the business’ profits were also “significantly up” on the £1.3 million EBITDA in 2006.

7city provides exam training for regulatory exams and professional qualifications as well as in-house training for businesses including eight-week graduate programmes to annual-core curriculums.

Gresham intends to grow the business organically by expanding its geographical presence and product range, although the firm would not rule out opportunistic bolt-on investments, he said.

The business has training centres in London and New York and a third centre planned to open in Singapore in 2008. Gresham is looking to grow the New York business as well as helping the Asia push. 7city has also begun to expand beyond its core investment banking client base with an expansion into accountancy training over the last six months, Hemley said.

Debt facilities were provided by UK bank RBS. The selling shareholders were advised by Matlin Associates.

Other Gresham investments in support services include recruiter Swift which it bought in June 2006, as well as UK staffing business SThree and public sector consultancy Tribal Group. It floated both businesses.