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Primary Backs MBO of ICS Learn

May 2018




ICS Learn is pleased to announce the completion of a management buyout of the business from the current owners, Angus MacDonald and Par Equity.  The management team was backed by Primary Capital Partners (“Primary”), one of the UK’s leading mid-market private equity firms.  The terms of the transaction are undisclosed. 


ICS Learn is a leading online professional education platform, operating in the human resources, accountancy and health and wellness markets. The ICS Learn brand is long-established and the business currently educates over 15,000 active students. The buyout was led by Colin Kennedy, who will remain as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).


Colin has led the business for the last three years, presiding over a period of increasing student numbers and profit growth, driven by a clear focus on high quality delivery and customer service. Under Colin’s leadership, the business has transitioned to a purely online delivery model and rationalised its offering to focus on the provision of leading professional qualifications.


Colin Kennedy, CEO of ICS Learn, commented, “ICS Learn is a well-recognised brand, providing online professional training in growing end markets. I am excited about the business’s future and the opportunities we have in both existing and new qualifications. We will continue to drive growth in student numbers whilst retaining our student-centric service ethos. I am delighted to be partnering with Primary, who have demonstrated a commitment to continued investment in ICS Learn and share our ambitions for the future.” 


The deal was led by Oliver Melliss, Alec Parkinson and David Richard at Primary. ICS Learn is Primary’s sixth investment from their Primary IV Fund.


Oliver Melliss commented, “ICS Learn provides high quality online delivery of market-leading professional qualifications, such as the CIPD for HR professionals. Customer demand continues to grow, the business’s student-focused delivery model has helped forge its leading reputation and the online platform offers a scalable business model. We look forward to working with Colin and the rest of the management team to support further growth of ICS Learn over the coming years.”



Santander provided debt finance for the deal. Quayle Munro / Houlihan Lokey advised Primary. The vendors were advised by Baird. 



Contact Jackie Adams for more information

Tel: +44(0) 20 7920 4800


read more about ICS Learn here

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