KnowledgePool acquires Business Training Partnership

In a move to consolidate its position as the UK market leader in managed learning, KnowledgePool has acquired Business Training Partnership (BTP).

Like KnowledgePool, BTP is a vendor independent learning outsourcing specialist. Established in 1998, it provides managed training services, helping client organisations to organise and manage their training. Based in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, it helps clients save money on around 4,000 training courses from over 120 suppliers.

“This acquisition is an important move for KnowledgePool as it will enhance our scale and capability,” said Paul Jefferson, CEO of KnowledgePool. “BTP brings complementary skills and synergies which will create additional opportunities for new business. The two companies share a common culture of client focus, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the enlarged KnowledgePool will benefit from a broadened client base, additional expertise and increased purchasing power.”

KnowledgePool has over 40 years’ experience in the training industry. It manages learning for major clients such as British Airways, Fujitsu Services, the Home Office, Merrill Lynch and Orange. Working in partnership with in-house learning and development teams, it helps clients to achieve cost reductions and improve the effectiveness and strategic contribution of their learning.

In 2007, KnowledgePool reported a 90% growth in revenues, achieving a turnover of £14.2m and current run rate of £17m. BTP had 2007 revenues of £8m, representing a 56% growth over the prior year, and a current run rate of £12m.

“BTP has the same focus on high value, ‘vendor-independent’ managed learning,” said Paul Jefferson. “It has a particularly strong presence in the telecommunications and media sectors, complementing our commitment to the banking and insurance, IT services, technology, utilities, pharmaceutical and public sectors.”

BTP co-founder and former Sales Director Craig Hyslop will join KnowledgePool where he will continue to manage the relationship with and delivery of service to BTP’s clients. Kevin Senior, the other co-founder and former Managing Director of BTP, will be leaving by mutual consent to pursue a new entrepreneurial opportunity.

BTP’s Burnham office will close and the majority of staff will transfer 18 miles to KnowledgePool’s Bracknell office. The BTP brand will be discontinued, although BTP’s CourseMonster brand and booking portal will be an important part of KnowledgePool’s future offering. A cross-functional team will manage the integration of BTP’s operation. The goal is to complete this integration by 1 June 2008. KnowledgePool will also utilise BTP’s relationships with independent training organisations to further enhance its supplier management service.

KnowledgePool received additional funds for the acquisition from Root Capital, the private investment company which bought KnowledgePool in 2004.

According to NelsonHall, the outsourcing analyst firm, the UK market for managed services in learning & development is worth £110m and KnowledgePool is the number one provider.

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