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Melorio plc and Woodspeen Training

publication date: Mar 31, 2008
author/source: Ed Tranham

In a market defined by £4bn of government funding, other companies are ready to move into the space left by C&C. In recent months two new companies have listed on the junior markets in pursuit of opportunities in this space.

Last October Melorio plc raised £27.5m when it listed on AIM using all the proceeds plus a £6.5m term loan to acquire Construction Learning World, a provider of on-site assessment and training to the construction industry, for £35m. The company states on its home page that it is ’building a vocational training business through the acquisition and organic development of strong training providers, taking advantage of the favourable UK government funding environment and the large addressable learner base.’ The company is headed by Adrian Carey who was previously CEO at the Hotel and Training Company before its sale to VT Group in 2006.

Last month saw the listing of the investment vehicle Woodspeen Training on the Plus Market. The company’s admission document sets out its mission as ‘creating a substantial UK vocational training business principally by acquiring existing businesses providing government sponsored and / or privately funded vocational training.’ The company is headed by Charles Prior, former CEO at BPP, who owns 22.86% of the listed business. The company’s finance director is Lynn Chandler who until 2005 was FD at BPP. She has a 4.29% stake. AIM listed
Evolve Capital has a stake of 17.14%. The placing raised £2m, giving an immediate market cap of £3.5m.

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