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Browne Jacobson advise on Apiary-backed acquisition by Access Creative College of dBs sound and music institute

20 September 2021

Browne Jacobson’s national private equity team has advised North West based Access Creative College (ACC) on its Apiary-backed acquisition of the sound and music institute, dBS for an undisclosed consideration.

dBs offers specialist music and sound production courses from its Bristol and Plymouth campuses which are designed to help students build long and meaningful careers in the audio industry.

ACC delivers vocational education in the creative industries to over 3,000 students at campuses in major cities across England which includes London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, York, Lincoln, and Norwich. The college strives to help prepare young people for careers in the creative and digital industries through innovative, practical employment-led training. Its courses include computing, games, media, music and events at specialist campuses.

The acquisition supports the Government’s Skills for Jobs white paper, which is targeting practical and vocational education through the lifetime skills guarantee. It will support ACC in broadening out its current further education offering to degree and post graduate level courses, giving learners a more joined up and defined educational path from post-16 to degree level.

The Browne Jacobson national private equity team was led by senior associate Ryan Brown with assistance from associate Matthew Dorman. Manchester based partner Ian Deakin advised on the employment side, associate Michael Parkinson advised on the real estate elements and Birmingham based senior associate, Rebecca Burge assisted on the corporate tax side of the transaction. Private equity partner Gareth Davies supported the transaction.

Ryan Brown said: “We are really pleased to have advised Apiary Capital and ACC on this important strategic acquisition. The dBS acquisition will extend the scope of Access Creative College’s existing provision and will help shape the future of the creative industry.”

Jessica French Investment Manager at Apiary Capital commented:

“We are delighted to be supporting Jason’s ambitious plans to grow ACC’s higher education provision across the country and this acquisition is an important first step in offering a new kind of experience for learners in the creative and digital sector.

“Having previously advised us on our investment into ACC 18 months ago, we were grateful to have the Browne Jacobson team on board with us again on this exciting and strategic acquisition. Their commitment to each project they work on with us is impressive as is the commercial and pragmatic advice they always deliver.”

Browne Jacobson’s corporate team of over 30 corporate lawyers is supported by over 500 lawyers across our business, including specialists in banking, commercial, intellectual property, competition, employment, litigation, tax and property.


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