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Browne Jacobson’s North West dealmakers advise OakNorth on loan to digital marketing apprenticeship provider business

8 February 2022

Browne Jacobson’s Manchester based banking and private equity lawyers have advised OakNorth Bank on its loan facility to Apprentify Limited, a leading provider of digital marketing and tech apprenticeships for the North.

The initial £5m investment was backed by UK investor Business Growth Fund (BGF) and has meant that Apprentify can further grow its business, with the funds supporting a simultaneous bolt-on acquisition of Netcom Training, a West Midlands based provider of government funded IT training courses.

Macclesfield based Apprentify, which headquarters in Alderley Edge, was founded in 2018 by Group Chief Executive, Paul Drew. The business recruits and develops future talent via its nationwide and virtual apprenticeship programme which places apprentices into specialist roles within the digital marketing and tech space. The programme is OFSTED approved and works with some key industry UK partners including Liverpool Football Club, JD Group, Greater Transport for Manchester and Lloyds Banking Group and has a 100% pass rate.

Launched in 2015 by founders Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, OakNorth Bank has lent over £7bn to date to businesses across the UK and across a variety of sectors seeking capital to support their growing business needs.

The Manchester Browne Jacobson deal team was led by partner and head of the firm’s Manchester banking & finance team, Graham Ball. Senior associate Melanie Hilton also worked on the deal from a banking perspective with assistance from trainee lawyer, Makhala Kirwan. Senior associate, Ryan Brown and associate Bethany Pickup advised on the corporate and private equity side of the transaction.

Stewart Haworth, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank commented: “This is the first time we have worked with Browne Jacobson’s Manchester banking & finance team and the service we received from them and the turnaround in delivery of this deal was nothing short of phenomenal.

“This is a really important deal for OakNorth Bank and a prolific deal for the North West and Graham and his team knew that, and ensured we were given high quality advice and excellent support along the way.”

Graham Ball added: “This is an exciting North West transaction for our Manchester team to have collaborated on and we are thrilled to have supported OakNorth in getting this deal over the line in a really short timeframe, showcasing the strength of our banking and corporate teams.

“Apprentify have a strong offering in the digital marketing apprenticeship space and with OakNorth’s debt funding and BGF’s investment, the business will be able to really bolster this offering further and make a significant mark on the adult education learning sector with its ambitious buy and build strategy.”

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