M&A Advisory

The Progress Group

Adviser to The Progress Group on its acquisition of AC Education.

The deal

We’re pleased to have advised Bootle-based The Progress Group (TPG) on its acquisition of eLearning provider AC Education.

The Progress Group is a leading national education and training provider, specialising in supporting individuals from the age of 11 upwards through the delivery of careers advice, alternative education and adult training spanning several sectors.

Based in Hertfordshire AC Education offers a suite of more than 150 courses for children’s services and education subsectors. The acquisition will allow TPG to enhance its digital learning provision, which already supports more than 66,500 people each year.

Our Manchester-based Corporate Finance team, led by Partner Adrian Gare and Associate Director Michael Bloom, and supported by Assistant Manager Sami Watson, were appointed to complete buy-side financial due diligence on behalf of TPG, with a focus on assessing the growth potential of AC Education as a part of the group’s wider portfolio.

The deal represents the next step in the longstanding relationship between the two, with FRP Corporate Finance having supported TPG on its purchase of Grey Matter Learning in early 2021. This latest acquisition will see total number of individuals employed by the Group’s family of companies up to 175.

Adrian Gare, Partner at FRP Corporate Finance, said: “In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in what consumers look for from their education providers, with an increased focus on remote learning. As a result, we’ve seen an uptick in consolidation in the online education and training sector as firms look to cater to a wider client base.

“This deal is a further example of this sentiment in action, with both firms set to benefit through access to new customers and eLearning capabilities. We look forward to seeing what they can achieve together in this growing market.”

Eammon Price, Financial Director at The Progress Group, said: “This acquisition represents an exciting new step for The Progress Group, as we look to continue providing a wide catalogue of learning solutions to an ever-expanding customer base.

“Having worked with FRP Corporate Finance in the past, we knew that Adrian and his team would be well versed in how we operate as a business, and their continued support played a key part in helping us ultimately progress and secure the deal.”

Deal summary


April 2023



Deal type:

M&A advisory

Deal size:


Following the pandemic we’ve seen a shift in what consumers look for from their education providers, with an increased focus on remote learning. Adrian Gare Corporate Finance

Related team

Adrian Gare

Adrian Gare

  • Consultant
  • Corporate Finance
  • Manchester