BGF-backed Operam completes latest acquisition in ambitious growth drive

With our support, the education recruitment specialist has acquired Lancashire-based Bridge Education Recruitment, as part of its ongoing buy and build strategy.

28 February 2023

Operam Education Group – the BGF-backed education recruitment specialist – has completed the latest in a series of acquisitions, as part of its ambitious buy-and-build strategy.

The company has acquired Lancashire-based Bridge Education Recruitment in a deal supported by BGF.

Founded in 2014, Bridge Education has developed an excellent reputation based on trusted relationships with both schools and candidates across Lancashire and the surrounding regions. It is the second acquisition by Operam in the last 12 months and continues the management team’s growth strategy, which has seen Operam establish itself as one of the leading specialist education recruitment groups across the Midlands and the North of England.

Following the acquisition, Bridge Education co-founder and director, Sharon Bridge, will remain with the business.

Commenting on the acquisition, Operam CEO Eddie Austin, said: “The acquisition of a trusted brand like Bridge Education is another important step forward for the business. The company has all the attributes we look for and fits perfectly with Operam – not only strategically and culturally, but also from a geographical perspective. We have an extremely strong pipeline of acquisition targets and we’re confident our approach will enable us to continue to expand, not just across our established regions, but into new geographies as well.”

Last year, BGF committed a further £2.5 million in follow-on funding to support Operam’s buy-and-build growth strategy, alongside £2.5 million of senior debt from HSBC. An additional £2.5 million of equity funding has also been committed to support future acquisitions which will take BGF’s total investment in Operam to £9.5 million.

BGF investor Rob Johnson, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting Operam’s latest acquisition – the fifth since BGF first invested in the business in 2019 – and look forward to welcoming Bridge Education into the Operam family. Having worked closely with Eddie and the team over the past four years, it is great to see the business continue to successfully execute against the original plan we backed. With a strong pipeline of acquisition targets, established systems and processes and further committed funding from BGF, all the ingredients are there for Operam to continue on its successful growth journey.”

Latest insights