The opportunity to reuse their old slogans won the buyers over.
BPP University has finally been sold, to the owner of ASDA.
BPP's current private equity owner, Vanta Education, had been looking to offload its legal education provider for several years. Vanta, previously called Apollo Education Group, failed to attract any bids for BPP in 2019. But now UK-based TDR Capital, which is the former owner of Pizza Express, has bitten.
Jon Rosen from TDR said, “This is an exciting time to be investing in education, an important sector for the UK and globally, as the need for highly skilled workers continually increases”.
Alongside ASDA, TDR owns the David Lloyd leisure chain, while founders Manjit Dale and Steve Robertson previously bought and sold Center Parcs.
BPP has experienced significant change under its current owner. Four years after Apollo bought BPP for £368 million as part of its portfolio of education providers, BPP was awarded university status so it could stand toe-to-toe with the University of Law. This summer the pot was sweetened for purchasers when BPP was granted indefinite degree-awarding powers.
Glossing up its Wikipedia page, which resulted in a warning for "disruptive editing", probably helped, too.
It hasn't been entirely smooth sailing. Apollo's parent group was itself sold in 2016 for $1.1 billion, and the change of ownership resulted in the resignation of much of the BPP board. Dean and CEO Peter Crisp, who joined arch-competitor ULaw, had been widely credited with building BPP into a dominant force in legal education.
Online learning necessitated by Covid has seen teething issues and complaints of anxiety, while students at the Holborn campus voiced their dismay at having to pay full London prices while the campus was gutted.
Larry Berg, Senior Partner at Apollo Global Management, said,
"Thank God, finally" “We know the company will be in great hands with its new owners”.
TDR declined to specify how much it paid for BPP.