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BGF backs Operam for future growth

BGF News 07.05.2022
Eddie Austin, CEO, Operam Education Group

BGF commits a further £5 million to support Operam Education Group’s buy-and-build growth strategy.

Operam Education Group, one of the leading education recruitment agencies in the North of England, has received a further £2.5 million from BGF, alongside £2.5 million of senior debt from HSBC, to support the acquisition of West Midlands-based, First for Education.

First for Education is Operam’s first acquisition since the pandemic begun and signals the start of an exciting growth phase for the business as it looks to grow its footprint and service offering. An additional £2.5 million of equity funding has been committed to support future acquisitions which will take BGF’s total investment in Operam to £9.5 million.

Founded in 2017 by resourcing specialists Eddie Austin and Andrew Frome, Operam completed its first acquisition in the same year, and has since added four more businesses to the group. Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the business has continued to perform well and is seeing strong demand for its services as schools increasingly look to high-quality providers such as Operam to fill capacity within the classroom and close the attainment gap through the provision of extra-curricular tutoring services.

Commenting on the deal, Operam CEO Eddie Austin, said: “For many organisations, the ability to attract and utilise the best talent is one of the biggest challenges they currently face and for schools, this is no different. We’re ideally placed to provide high-quality candidates to the education sector across the regions we operate in.

“Our vision for Operam is to continue to drive growth organically, as well as through a series of strategic acquisitions. As such, we’re delighted to welcome First for Education to the fold and to continue our partnership with BGF and HSBC who share our long-term goals. BGF continues to add significant value to our business and is the ideal partner for us given their ability to provide flexible follow-on funding at a time that is right for our business and take a long-term view.”

BGF investor Rob Johnson, added: “Operam has built a fantastic reputation in the industry through its ability to place the right candidates into the right roles and how it looks after its own people.

“Our partnership with Operam is a great example of how BGF can support ambitious management teams with multiple rounds of funding and the benefits of a patient outlook. Operam is thriving and we are looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves over the coming years.”