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learndirect Digital Group complete acquisitions of Animal Courses Direct and i-to-i TEFL

4th March 21

learndirect the UK’s leading online education group are delighted to announce completion of the acquisitions of Animal Courses Direct and i-to-i (Teach and Travel Group Ltd), two specialist training providers operating in the Animal Welfare and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) sectors respectively. The acquisitions extend learndirect’s existing portfolio in these sectors and provides a strong base for the group to continue to grow online education in these specialisms.

Established in 2004, Animal Courses Direct is the largest specialist Animal Welfare provider in the UK offering a wide range of Ofqual regulated animal courses that meet the Defra Animal Activity Licencing (ALL) Regulations. Through its dedicated recruitment site (Animal Jobs Direct) they are able to equip learners for a wide range of animal, conservation and environmental careers.

Kim Pearce, Managing Director at Animal Courses Direct, said, "We are delighted to be taking this exciting step in joining the learndirect Digital Group family, the UKs leading online education group. Our team is passionate about animal welfare - we strive to offer the highest standards of training to enable learners to gain meaningful employment in the animal care sector, providing outstanding care for animals. I'm extremely proud of our team and the impact that Animal Courses Direct has made. The future is even brighter as we join the learndirect team with a shared highly ambitious vision to develop more excellent quality, regulated animal care training. We are excited that learndirect will be helping us to expand our provision to reach even more learners and to further achieve our core goal of raising the standards of animal welfare through education across the sector".

Established in 1994, i-to-i has over 25 years of teach and travel experience and leads the TEFL industry forward. Having already trained more than 200,000 TEFL teachers across the globe, i-to-i supports its graduates into employment internationally through its excellent Love TEFL Jobs Board.

Gordon Mathie, Managing Director at i-to-i, said, "I am thrilled that i-to-i will be joining the learndirect stable. We are both highly innovative, customer-focused businesses at the forefront of online learning. This is a fantastic opportunity to supercharge our growth both in the UK and internationally. With our highly complementary products and strategic vision, I am looking forward to working with the learndirect team to deliver this vision.”

learndirect Digital Group is Private Equity backed and combines a range of digital education solutions that include online education providers and eLearning solutions providers. Backed by Queen’s Park Equity (QPE), the group continues to deliver exceptional growth organically and through acquisition whilst ensuring learners receive a market leading education.

Wayne Janse Van Rensburg, Group CEO at learndirect Digital Group, said, "The importance of high-quality outcome based online education has never been more important than now. The Covid pandemic has fundamentally changed the way our students want to learn. Working with QPE, we are excited to be backing both Kim at ACD, Gordon at i-to-i and their fantastic teams, bringing our businesses together with a shared vision and mission to deliver an exceptional progression plan for the group. Combining our expertise and experience will enable us to deliver market leading employment-based outcomes for our students.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Wayne and the management team at learndirect in this exciting journey and supported two strategic acquisitions within six months of our original investment in the group.” added Jose Rodriguez, Managing Partner, Queen’s Park Equity. “Both ACD and i-to-i share QPE and learndirect’s values of quality education and learner-focused outcomes”.

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