Ward Hadaway Advises on Training Group Buyout

Posted on the 2 February 2017

Ward Hadaway Advises on Training Group Buyout

Law firm Ward Hadaway has advised on the acquisition of the UK's leading sports and stadia training specialist.

Corporate lawyers from the Leeds office of the UK Top 100 firm provided legal advice to the new owners of Mitre Group - former Clinigen Group plc CEO and CFO, Peter George and Robin Sibson – on the buyout of the business from founder Trevor Bowmer.

Mitre Group works with many of the country’s leading sports organisations to deliver a range of training programmes including apprenticeships, staff development courses and pre-employment schemes covering areas including coach education, sports development, youth work and stadia safety.

The company, which is based in Derbyshire, is a recognised Training Organisation by the Government’s Skills Funding Agency and has supported over 4,000 organisations and 20,000 individuals gain access to funding for its programmes.

A team led by Ward Hadaway Corporate Associate Catherine Hinchliffe, supported by members of the firm's commercial and employment teams, provided legal advice to Peter George and Robin Sibson on the acquisition of Mitre Group.

Catherine Hinchliffe said: "We are delighted to have assisted Peter and Robin on the successful acquisition of Mitre Group.

"Having known them over a number of years, we were really pleased to have been called on again to help with this transaction.

"Peter and Robin have a fantastic track record in developing and nurturing high quality businesses over the years and we wish them all the best with this latest venture."

Until recently, Peter George and Robin Sibson were CEO and CFO respectively of Staffordshire-based global pharmaceutical business Clinigen Group plc.

They led the £164m Clinigen flotation on the AIM market in 2012 and have driven the growth of the business to its current valuation.

As well as being the new owners of Mitre Group, the duo are now investors and directors in the Mount Cook Adventure Centre – a not-for-profit centre on the outskirts of the Peak District - and investors in UK Challenge – the country’s leading outdoor corporate team building event.

Peter George, now chairman of Mitre Group, said: "It was important to us that this project was completed quickly and Catherine and the team worked really hard to deliver the right result for us and for Trevor and management.

"I am delighted to be part of Mitre and what is an outstanding team, we share a common set of values and are committed to improving the life chances of more people through training and creation of opportunity.

"Both Robin and I believe our experience coupled with the potential at Mitre can combine to achieve its growth ambitions and fulfill its potential.

"We are committed to supporting Mitre to build on its success and implement current growth strategies, and look forward to an exciting future for the business."

Trevor Bowmer said: "To pass the ownership and leadership 'baton' to people who I have known and respected for several years, whose commercial successes are well documented and who so visibly share the ethics, aims and ambitions of Mitre presents a remarkable opportunity for all in the business.

"I wish them every possible success."