The parent company of the University of Law is seeking investment in order to fund future growth despite fears of the impact of the pandemic, the Gazette understands. The news follows rumours that training giant BPP will soon be back on the market after attempts to sell it in 2019 fell through.
The University of Law was acquired by Global University Systems (GUS) in 2015. A spokesperson for the university confirmed that GUS is ‘investigating strategic options to facilitate further growth of its business’.
‘This recognises the huge contribution that ULaw has made to the GUS group since their acquisition of the university. It does not affect ULaw’s future strategy or day-to-day business which continues to flourish in these exceptional times.’
According to a report by EducationInvestor magazine, GUS has instructed two investment banks to marshal the sale of a minority stake in the business. The banks have been asked to draw up a list of potential investors whose capital would be used to fund future growth through acquisitions.
GUS already owns the University of Law, London School of Business and Finance and the London College of Contemporary Arts.
Accounts filed with Companies House last September show that ULaw enjoyed a ‘very solid business performance’ in 2019. Pre-tax profit rose from £4.3m in 2018 to £7.5m in 2019, while income from course fees rose by 16% to £85.4m. Student numbers rose by 21% to 11,041.
However, the report warned that the pandemic's impact student recruitment could ‘adversely impact the future income and liquidity position’.
‘There events and conditions…constitute a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,’ it said.
The legal training market has undergone several changes in recent years. While the University of Law changed hands twice between 2012 and 2015, BPP was put up for sale in June 2019 by US corporation Apollo Education Group. It was apparently taken off the market six months later, but is now expected to be put up for sale again.