MBH Corporation scores 11th acquisition of 2020 with sports training specialist

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MBH Corporation Plc (FRA:M8H) has notched up its 11th acquisition of 2020 in a deal that further strengthens its presence in the education sector.

Academy One Group, a sports education training organisation founded in Essex seven years ago, has been snapped up by the Frankfurt-listed mini-conglomerate for GBP2-3mln in MBH bonds, depending on the audit of results for the 2020 calendar year.

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Running programmes on its own and in partnership with colleges, professional and semi-professional football clubs, as well as traineeship programmes in sports coaching and apprenticeships in a variety of sport, business and health pathways, Academy One generated revenues of GBP3.7mln in the year ended March 31, 2020.

The seventh addition to MBH’s education segment takes the total group’s pro-forma revenues to GBP102mln for the 2020 financial year, the company said, with estimated earnings per share growth as a result of this acquisition of roughly 1.1%.

Football club partners include local semi-professional non-league names such as Barking, Braintree Town, Canvey Island and Romford, stretching into Kent with Ebbsfleet United and as far west as Gloucester City and Weston Football Academy, while other courses include diplomas in personal training and in sport.

MBH noted that the UK is one of Europe’s largest national fitness markets, boasting total annual revenues of around GBP5bn, suggesting “the stage is set for further future growth for Academy One”.

In a statement, Paul Vaughan, managing director of Academy One, said: “We have extensive plans for our future and have already shown a clear ability to grow our business at pace. Joining the MBH Group represents a major step for us and the resources and skills within the group that we can call on will allow us to accelerate our growth at the rate we know we are capable of.”

Callum Laing, chief executive of MBH, added: “Education forms a significant part of our portfolio and Academy One represents the best of the sector, innovative, future-facing and highly ambitious to grow.

“We’re delighted to welcome Paul and his team to the group and can see huge opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing. The depth of their expertise in the sports and physical activity market will be a hugely valuable asset to us.”

The majority of the consideration will be paid fully in unlisted bonds in MBH Corporation that will convert to listed bonds upon completion of audited accounts.

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