The sale process for Lifetime Training, a UK-based apprenticeship provider for the hospitality and retail sectors owned by private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, will resume at the beginning of 2023, EducationInvestor Global can reveal.

This publication has learnt that the sale, which is run by Houlihan Lokey, is being prepared for a relaunch in Q1 2023, with a price expectation in the £250 million region, slightly higher than before.

The company’s turnover decreased from £71 million in 2019 to £60 million in 2020 and its EBITDA declined from £15 million in 2019 to £9 million in 2020, according to Companies House filings. However, it generated EBITDA of around £21 million in 2021 and forecasts £22 million for 2022, one source close to the process told this publication.

“A price expectation above £200 million is probably too ambitious, considering that the business did not receive any offers higher than £120 million in 2020. However, it is a good asset that has started to grow again and might achieve a substantial increase in revenue and profitability this year, following the recovery of the hospitality and retail sectors,” a second source said.

The sale of Lifetime was launched in March 2020, when the company was marketed off an EBITDA of £20 million, with price expectation of around £200 million, as revealed by this publication at the time.

In May 2020, Silverfleet decided to abandon the sale and retain ownership of the business for up to three years, following a drastic drop in revenue caused by the pandemic, as reported by this publication.

Silverfleet acquired Lifetime in 2016 for around £120 million from private equity firm Sovereign Capital, which had owned the business since 2011.

Founded in 1995 and based in Bristol, Lifetime provides apprenticeship training to businesses within the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors. The company trains some 20,000 people a year through its level two and three apprenticeship schemes.

In September 2021, Lifetime acquired Intequal, a provider of apprenticeships in IT infrastructure, digital marketing, data analytics, software development and testing, network engineering and technical sales.

Date published: 1 April 2022

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