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Interserve buys training firm for £17.5m

Interserve has paid an initial £17.5m to buy UK training and development firm Business Employment Services Training Limited.

The company said the acquisition would increase its delivery of front-line services, particularly in the Department of Work and Pensions’ Work Programme, and forms part of the company’s strategic development as a ‘key public service provider’.

Further to the initial £17.5m will be a deferred payment of up to £0.75m, payable subject to agreement of completion accounts.

BEST’s pro forma annual revenue is £17 million, generating operating profit of £3 million, and its gross assets are valued at £2 million.

BEST’s managing and operations director Michelle Manson and Andrea Cook will remain with the business following the acquisition.

The training firm operates across south and west Yorkshire, a region which employs approximately 3 million people across 100,000 businesses and has an unemployment rate of 8.7 per cent, similar to the national average.

BEST delivers services in government-sponsored programmes, the majority of its business being related to the Work Programme.

Interserve is already involved in the Work Programme through its Rehab Jobfit joint venture, which has contracts in Wales and the South-west.

Interserve chief executive Adrian Ringrose said: “The acquisition of BEST reflects our strategy of developing as a top-tier public services provider, delivering front-line services.

“It builds on our existing relationships with both the DWP and the community in Leeds and the surrounding area, provides a foundation for offering more broadly-based community services and enhances our role in training and skills development.”

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