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Charme Capital Partners invests in Witherslack Group
  • Charme Capital Partners makes investment in Witherslack Group, the UK’s leading provider of specialist education and care for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, communication difficulties and complex learning needs
  • New investment to support the organic growth of the Group, helping it to provide inspirational education and care to even more children and young people across the UK while maintaining its excellent education and care standards
  • The current shareholders including management will reinvest
  • London, 1st September 2017: Charme Capital Partners (“Charme”), the pan-European mid-market private equity firm, announces that Charme III has invested in the Witherslack Group (“Witherslack” or “the Group”). As part of the transaction, both management and the current shareholders, mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge, will reinvest. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    Headquartered in Cumbria, England, Witherslack is a provider of education, therapeutic and residential care for children and young people with special education needs. The Group’s focus is on support, care and acceptance – allowing every young person to develop as an independent individual, equipped with the knowledge, experience and life skills required to look to the future with increased confidence and aspiration. It currently operates 29 schools, associated homes and integrated learning centres across the UK.

    Since its foundation in 1996, Witherslack has grown from a small, regional provider of specialist schools and children’s homes, into a national provider of a wider range of services for children and young people. The Group has a long history of success and sector-leading Ofsted judgements, being the only institution to have received either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ ratings for all its schools since inception. This has been achieved through an ethos of high aspiration, a ‘team around the child’ approach, unique in-school therapy solutions, and striving to provide inspiring environments for students.

    Charme is firmly committed to Witherslack’s excellent educational and care standards, and will continue to invest in the Group and its organic growth, so that it can support even more children and young people across the UK.

    Julian Huxtable, Partner at Charme Capital Partners, said:
    “We are very pleased to partner with such an inspiring company as the Witherslack Group. Our focus will be on helping the Group to offer its vital services to more locations across the country, while preserving the high standards of education and care that make it such a key part of the lives of the young people and children it helps.”

    Adam Holloway, Partner at Livingbridge, said:
    “It has been a privilege to have worked with Witherslack and its leadership team over the last 6 years. Together we have opened 7 new schools and learning centres and doubled the number of pupils to over 630 today. We have always maintained a relentless focus on improving outcomes for children and young people and invested heavily to achieve this. We are delighted to welcome Charme as new partners and look forward to supporting Witherslack through its next phase of growth.”

    Phil Jones, CEO of Witherslack Group, said:
    “I am delighted that Witherslack Group has been able to attract new investment, enabling us to continue our drive to improve the quality of outcomes and life opportunities for an ever-increasing number of the most complex young people in this country. Charme Capital Partners’ ethos accords with that of management and our continuing investor, Livingbridge, and I am confident that with our combined efforts we will continue our organic expansion, whilst maintaining, or even improving, our sector leading Ofsted ratings.”

Media Contacts

Charme Capital Partners

Greenbrook Communications
Andrew Honnor, Alex Jones, Carl Leijonhufvud
+44 (0)207 952 2000


James White, MHP Communications
0203 128 8756 / livingbridge@mhpc.com

About Witherslack Group

Witherslack Group is the UK’s leading provider of specialist education and care for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, communication difficulties (autistic spectrum conditions, Asperger’s Syndrome, speech, language and communication needs) and complex learning needs.

Our focus on support, care and acceptance allows each young person to develop as an independent individual, equipped with the knowledge, experience and life skills to look to the future with increased confidence and aspiration. This is achieved through our dedicated teaching, care and therapeutic professionals who combine to create a unique and inspirational environment for every child.Their commitment and ability to genuinely connect with each child allows us to achieve long lasting outcomes and fulfil the ambitions of our young people.

We go the extra mile for all of our young people to ensure that their time in our schools and children’s homes gives them the foundations and ambitions to create their own story of success.

Visit: www.witherslackgroup.co.uk

About Charme Capital Partners

Charme Capital Partners was founded in 2003 and helps deliver transformational growth for its portfolio companies. The firm is supported by its unique investor base of institutional LPs and prominent global industrialists. Since its inception, Charme Capital Partners has raised over €1bn through its Charme Funds.

Charme III was launched in late 2015 and has a pan-European investment strategy, focused in particular on Italy, UK and Spain. These countries present attractive opportunities to invest in market leading companies with strong international growth prospects. Charme III will invest in companies valued up to €500m, partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to expand both organically and inorganically.

The main investments realised by Charme I and Charme II include: in luxury goods, Poltrona Frau Group (the world leader in high-end design furniture created via the acquisitions of Poltrona Frau, Cassina and Cappellini); in technology, Octo Telematics (world leader in insurance telematics); and in med-tech, Bellco (leading provider of blood purification devices). Charme III has already completed investments in Spain with Igenomix (world leader in reproductive genetic diagnostics), in the UK with JD Classics (leader in the retail, restoration and management of classic cars) and in Italy with ATOP (the global leader in the production of innovative machines and automated production lines for electric motors).

Visit: www.charmecapitalpartners.com

About Livingbridge

Livingbridge are an independent, specialist asset management firm of over 80 people in the UK and Australia with over £1bn to invest in fast growing companies over the next five years.

Our team have been backing growing businesses together for twenty years, investing anything from £2m to £70m in businesses valued up to £150m. We’ve done it over a hundred times, turning many into household names both at home and abroad. We get growth.

We understand the people behind growing companies in consumer markets; healthcare and education; technology, media and telecommunications; financial services and business services, and help them achieve what’s right for them and their business.

We invest on behalf of both institutional and retail investors. We are actively investing funds on behalf of Livingbridge 6 LP, Livingbridge Enterprise 2 LP and the two Baronsmead Ventures Trusts. Livingbridge also manage Livingbridge CF UK Micro Cap Fund and Livingbridge CF UK Multi Cap Income Fund.

Visit: www.livingbridge.com

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