A BUSINESS skills and training group whose founder traces his history back to shorthand inventor Sir Isaac Pitman has been bought by management in a £56 million deal, it emerged today.
Coventry-based JHP Group, which offers work-based and job seeker training for adults and young people, is now majority owned by Lloyds Banking Group after its private equity division invested £30 million.
JHP’s management team, led by chief executive Jim Chambers, has acquired a minority shareholding in the firm.
A £26 million debt facility was also provided by Yorkshire Bank.
JHP, which was founded in 1983 by Hugh Pitman, employs more than 1,000 people and operates from a network of 57 centres.
The firm provides apprenticeship and training programmes in England, Scotland and Wales.
JHP’s clients include the Ministry of Defence, Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance, RSA and Barclays.
Sales have almost doubled to £44 million over the last three years as rising demand fuelled contract wins for the company.
The firm said the buyout would help it capitalise on the consolidation in the industry, while allowing it to increase its focus on welfare to work programmes.
Mr Chambers said: "The investment comes at an important stage in our development and will bring on board the expertise and financial backing we need to grow the business further."