IMG_1846A six figure sum has sealed the deal on the latest acquisition for one of the North East’s rapidly expanding training groups.

Newcastle-based PTM Group (PTM) has announced it is breaking into a new sector, thanks to its recently completed purchase of Blyth-based Winnovation Training Ltd (Winnovation), for an undisclosed sum.

Winnovation, which was founded by Claire Pitchford, a social worker and former care home manager in 2009 and has an annual turnover of £750K, has joined PTM’s other subsidiaries; NCT Skills for Life, which provides training for young people interested in learning construction trades such as roofing and bricklaying and 180 training, which works with adults seeking to retrain and change career direction.

Currently employing 10 staff, with over 100 courses on offer Winnovation delivers a full range of social care training with impressive results. These include disability, children and families, care induction, leadership and management for those working in social care and adult care as well as health and safety.

To date, 100 per cent of the young people who have completed a 14-week traineeship with Winnovation have secured an apprenticeship with a local employer, while an average of 73 per cent who have completed Job Centre Plus courses with the training provider have gone on to secure a job.

According to Jamie Paterson, PTM’s managing director, it is this success combined with Claire’s ambition to grow the company and the Group’s desire to break into a new sector, which makes the deal a perfect fit for both businesses.  He said:

“Having worked with Claire previously, albeit supporting her at arms-length, it became clear that Winnovation was a brand that was respected in the care sector for delivering an extensive range of high quality training across the country to great effect.  By bringing the brand under the umbrella of PTM it means that we are able to enter a new sector with an established track record. This would not have been possible had we launched a new company.

“I and my fellow directors are looking forward to working with Claire and the team and would like to take this opportunity of welcoming them to the group.”

Adding her thoughts on her decision to sell her shares in the company she founded, Claire said:

“This is a significant move in the ongoing development and success of Winnovation. By joining PTM Group, thanks to the extensive range of support we can draw on, not only funding but also business and logistical support such as HR, marketing and sales, not to mention the support of a very strong group board with decades of further education experience, we will now be able to explore other avenues such as early years training.  Additionally, the Group gains an established business which sits well within its existing organisation and supports plans for future growth.

“Furthermore, looking to the future, as we break into new areas of training and increase the number of courses we can deliver, we will be looking to create a number of new positions further supporting the local economies in which we work, which we would not be able to do without the support of PTM.”

Under the terms of the deal, Claire has been retained as managing director responsible for the profitability of Winnovation and at the same time has become a member of the Group’s board.

The acquisition has been self-funded by the Group without the need for external lending.  Barry Gill of TIG Corporate Finance provided corporate finance advice and carried out financial due diligence, while Marie Louise Bozenet of Square One Law provided legal advice.

Currently employing 40 staff, PTM has expanded rapidly since inception and is on target to deliver £5.8 million in sales to March 2017, making it one of the largest private training providers in the region. The Group is very much on an acquisition trail at present and is currently looking at two other providers who also fit with the ethos and the aims of the Group and its expansion plans.