Financial Training exit for Royal Bank PE

The private equity unit of the Scottish bank has sold its interest in the UK accountancy training business to US training group Kaplan as part of a £55m deal.

Royal Bank Private Equity, the private equity unit of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has made a successful exit of its interest in Financial Training Company, an accountancy and financial services training business based in the UK.


The firm is being acquired by US financial services training business Kaplan, which has agreed to pay £55.4m ($89.1m) for the business which had reported revenues last year of £33.9m and operating income of £6.6m.


Royal Bank Private Equity supported the original MBO of FTC in May 2001, backing managing director William Macpherson in the acquisition from Dutch publishing firm Wolters Kluwer Group. RBPE provided £13m of equity, with most of the balance provided in loans from Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.


FTC prepares over 25,000 students a year for professional exams as well as tax qualification programmes and courses for investment professionals. The London-based company has 18 training centres in the UK as well as a growing presence in Asia, with operations in Hong Kong and Singapore.


Kaplan provides educational and career services and is one of the largest providers of financial services training programs in the US. The unit reported revenue last year of $621m, making it The Washington Post Company's second largest revenue producer.


Last year, Royal Bank of Scotland completed an overhaul of its Royal Bank Private Equity, which saw the division folded into the bank’s Equity Finance Group, headed by Rory Cullinan.