Northern Ireland-based online learning firm expands into Scotland
Londonderry-based firm Learning Pool has confirmed the acquisition of Scottish company MediaCorp for an undisclosed sum.
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The e-learning business, which employs 140 people in Derry, Belfast and Nottingham, will now incorporate 12 new members of staff at MediaCorp's Hamilton office.
The Scottish online learning and e-portfolio provider was founded and is still run by James Marshall.
Learning Pool said that the move would strengthen the company's footprint in Scotland and increase its presence in the manufacturing market, which it considers key to expanding its product offering.
In its latest accounts, Learning Pool reported turnover of £7.6m and pre-tax profits of £2.3m for the year ending April 2017.
Co-founder Paul McElvaney said the acquisition would push its user numbers past two million.
The takeover sees Learning Pool enter the apprenticeship training market, availing of the Scottish firm's services, which help companies manage qualification and apprenticeship programmes.
Mr McElvaney added: "It's a significant acquisition for us.
"It gets us past 550 customers and two million learners on our platform. Plus, the acquisition opens up the apprenticeship market, which in Great Britain is an exciting market and something a lot of our customers are interested in."
He said his company was on course to grow by 20% in 2018, with further acquisitions in the pipeline.
"The business plan for Learning Pool is very much focused on growth," he added.
"We intend to grow by 20% organically this year and we have a pipeline for acquisition that is pretty interesting, but there is nothing imminent.
"The next six months is about us bedding in the MediaCorp team and about integrating as a team.
"We're delighted to welcome James and the MediaCorp team into Learning Pool.
"We've been impressed by what they have achieved and I'm delighted to be working with an extended team in Scotland who share our passion for customer service and creating positive business impact.
"The apprenticeship market is clearly a growth area and many of our customers are looking for solutions to help manage the complexity of delivering apprenticeship programmes."
It is the latest acquisition for Learning Pool.
The company bought over Mind Click in Nottingham two years ago.