Enact supported the management buyout of one of the UK’s leading providers of Apprenticeships and Adult Education in October 2020, acquiring the business previously known as Interserve Learning & Employment (“ILE”) from the Interserve Group.

The buyout saw the company become a standalone training provider with intentions to create a new brand identity which aligned with the businesses values and proposition. At the end of November, “ILE” transformed into Realise. The new brand identity will bring a more “modern and people-focussed” look to the business which centres on communication.

Realise is one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the UK supporting over 7,000 learners across a number of sectors including Childcare, Health and Social Care, Transport and Business skills.  The business, headquartered in Sheffield and employs over 300 people, provides learning, education and employment services through apprenticeships and adult education services to support businesses across the country to inspire and develop talent.  Realise has been supporting people fulfil their potential and helping businesses to grow by upskilling the workforce for over 34 years. 

The investment by Enact is the fifth acquisition made from the £30m dedicated SME fund raised in May 2019.

Chris Cormack, Partner leading the Enact fund, joined the Realise board and will support the existing management team. He commented “We are delighted to have completed this transaction, backing the management team to acquire the business.  The acquisition of this Yorkshire headquartered business enables the continued delivery of high quality learning to apprentices across the UK and will have a significant role to support people and businesses in a post-COVID economy.  We will look to build on the reputation of quality the business has at the heart of its operations with the aim of inspiring both apprentices to start working life and adults looking to further their career with new skills.  This transaction also demonstrates the commitment of Enact, in an environment of great uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, to provide continued investment to SMEs that have relevant and sustainable business models but do not fit the investment criteria of traditional private equity or sources of funding.”

Gregg Scott, Managing Director of Realise added “We have worked hard over the past months to continue to deliver training courses to our learners throughout the pandemic. We are proud to work with a diverse range of employers every day from telecommunications giants to independent hairdressing salons to transport businesses and every type of company in between, helping them make a positive contribution to society and the economy. We quickly built a rapport with Enact who shared our passion and pride in delivering quality learning and have ambitions to retain that quality ethos as we plan to grow the business”.