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East Midlands Chamber News

Management buyout for Positive future

Chris LongmatePositive Outcomes, the South Normanton-based training specialist, has undergone a multi-million pound management buyout.

The firm's majority shares were bought out by a team led by Chief Executive Officer Chris Longmate for an undisclosed sum, while one owner has moved to a minority shareholding becoming a silent partner, the other has sold their shares and wholly exited the business.

The management buyout includes Cheryl Peto, HR and Support Services Director, and Finance Director Gemma Cripwell.

Positive Outcomes was set up in 1996 and has grown rapidly to be one of the UK’s top ten independent training providers.

Employing 160 people and specialising in Government-funded apprenticeships and work-based training, along with bespoke corporate training, Positive Outcomes is eager to build on the growth of the past year.

Chris Longmate said: “Positive Outcomes has enjoyed a number of successes over the past three years and continues to go from strength to strength, thanks to the drive and vision of its directors.

“This opportunity to invest in the company demonstrates our commitment to Positive Outcomes’ future, allowing us to independently manage its growth, further develop the business and achieve our ultimate aim of being the leading player in our sector.”

Cheryl Peto said: “I am extremely pleased to be able to be a key part of the future of Positive Outcomes by joining the board of directors. Gemma and I have already supported Chris in the expansion of the company in the last two years and I am looking forward to being able to make key decisions and input to strategy for the future of the company, in a team which so far has proven to be extremely successful.”

Operating from its East Midlands base, Positive Outcomes’ services cover nine regions throughout England, providing work-based training for apprentices and those already in employment, as well as corporate training.

Gemma Cripwell added: Like Chris and Cheryl I am delighted to have been offered this opportunity and am proud to be able to lead an already great company, to be an even greater one. The opportunity to invest demonstrates all of our commitment to the company’s future and allows us to independently manage its growth and further develop the business and achieve our ultimate aim of being the leading player in our sector.

Adding to the investors is the Foresight Group which has made the investment through its Foresight Nottingham Fund.

Over the past year the company has witnessed a substantial amount of contract growth and is expecting to see another increase over the next 12 months.

The MBO comes following a number of successes for the company, including a rapid rise in the need for its services over the past 12 months with 90 per cent of apprentices now securing permanent positions following their apprenticeships.

This is something Positive Outcomes is contributing to with highly skilled training advisers, a specialist apprenticeship team and the launch of their dedicated apprenticeship website, www.paidtolearn.co.uk, along with further recognition from Ofsted which recently awarded Positive Outcomes with their highest ever grading, Grade 2 ‘good’ status.

Duncan James of Notts-based law firm Shakespeares provided the legal expertise for the management team. He said: “Positive Outcomes is a thriving and successful organisation which has great potential for further growth. To work with this dynamic team on its MBO has been very satisfying and marks the next phase of the company’s rapid expansion.”

Chris added: “We have already made a national name for ourselves as one of the country’s top ten training providers and will continue to ensure Positive Outcomes stands out for its high quality service.”