Studying Pool Agrees To A Strategic Funding
Learning Pool and Marlin Equity Partners sign strategic investment agreement
Under the terms of the agreement, Marlin will also acquire the shares in Carlyle Cardinal Ireland.
Learning Pool’s integrated suite of digital learning products and services has enabled more than 1,100 companies to migrate their training initiatives to modern cloud technology, including global brands such as The FA, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Sky and Swiss Re. Learning Pool helps organizations at every stage of the employee lifecycle by creating engaging onboarding experiences, rigorous compliance training, and meaningful skills development opportunities for more than 5 million learners each year.
Founded in Northern Ireland and currently ranked as one of the 60 best places to work in the UK, Learning Pool’s team of experts has grown to over 260 people in the UK and US. The investment in Marlin will make it easier to create additional jobs with plans already planned to hire another 100 Learning Pool employees across the Group this year alone.
Since Carlyle Cardinal Ireland’s initial investment in 2016, Learning Pool has seen dramatic growth as sales have quadrupled over that time. The company has also been a leader in introducing next generation learning technology products and has won multiple awards for excellent customer service. In addition, Learning Pool has made four acquisitions in four years, most recently the US-based LMS expert Remote Learner, which strengthened the company’s presence in the US market. It is expected that Marlin will help accelerate growth both organically and through additional acquisitions.
Commenting on the investment, Paul McElvaney, CEO of the Learning Pool Group said: “Over the past five years, with the fantastic support of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, we have seen phenomenal growth and we are very grateful for the help and encouragement we have from the team . We are pleased to have found the right partner to help us continue our dynamic and expand the Learning Pool brand worldwide. Marlin has an incredible experience helping companies like ours scale and innovate. We look forward to working with them and are confident that both our customers and our team will benefit directly from the Marlin investment. The entire management team of Learning Pool has reinvested in the company and thus offers a convincing basis on which we will build the next growth phase.
Jan-Olivier Fillols, Managing Director at Marlin Equity Partners, said: “Learning Pool has seen significant growth through its customer-centric philosophy and unique end-to-end e-learning offering. We believe the company is very well positioned to capitalize on a highly attractive market opportunity and we look forward to working with an exceptional team to drive organic and inorganic growth together. ”
Jonathan Cosgrave, a partner at Melior Equity Partners who advises the CCI Fund on behalf of Carlyle, said, “The success of Learning Pool in quadrupling sales and profits through organic growth and acquisitions, while tripling its workforce and introducing learning products Next Generation, clearly demonstrate the potential of founder-led Irish tech companies when partnered with an investor who enables a strong growth environment. The performance of the management team and the employees of Learning Pool was exceptional and we wish them continued success for the future. ”
John Dolan, Managing Director of Cardinal Capital Group, said, “The Learning Pool has been a great growth story for CCI. When we initially invested, the company had 80 employees in one office serving mostly UK public clients. It now has over 260 employees in six offices around the world, and over 30% of sales come from North America. This is a classic example of the benefits we can bring to an Irish company willing to look west rather than east for accelerated growth. Paul and Louise McElvaney are outstanding entrepreneurs who have built a fabulous culture where all employees look after each other, which was a huge asset to the company during the COVID pandemic. ”
About Marlin Equity Partners
Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $ 7.6 billion in capital under management. The company is focused on providing parent companies, shareholders and other stakeholders with customized solutions that suit their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in companies in multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships, and extensive network of operating resources significantly enhance a company’s prospects and add value. Since its inception, Marlin has successfully completed over 180 acquisitions through its fund group and affiliates. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in London.
About Carlyle Cardinal Ireland
Carlyle Cardinal Ireland is a joint venture between The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Cardinal Capital Group. The € 292 million private equity fund focuses on growth capital and buyout investment opportunities across the island. Investors include Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and Enterprise Ireland.
Learning Pool and its shareholders were advised by Baird and Beltrae Partners. A&L Goodbody and Millar McCall Wylie acted as legal advisers, CIL as commercial advisers, while Grant Thornton, KPMG and Deloitte provided accounting and tax advice.