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Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Invests in Learning Pool

Exciting times as we move to our next phase of growth with our new Investor Partner, Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI).

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI), the private-equity fund established by The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Cardinal Capital Group will partner with existing management and staff to continue the company’s growth and drive product innovation.

Co-founded in 2006 by CEO Paul McElvaney, Learning Pool now employs 80 people servicing clients in the UK, Ireland and internationally.

Every day a community of 1.25 million learners across 350 companies and government bodies use our products and services to meet compliance requirements and drive performance improvement. Our award-winning technology and training catalogues are used by a range of companies in both the public and private sectors. Customer organisations include the NHS, the UK Houses of Parliament, Jury’s Inn, Capita, and British Sugar.

Learning Pool’s decision to partner with CCI was driven by the fund’s global contacts and strategic experience in growing similar sized companies. The investment from CCI will help us continue to build out our team and develop new, innovative products to serve existing customers and attract new ones. The existing management team, including CEO Paul McElvaney, will continue in their current leadership roles and are investing further as shareholders in the business. Jonny  Cosgrave and John Dolan from CCI will join the board of directors of Learning Pool.

Paul McElvaney, CEO, Learning Pool said:
“We have always believed in Learning Pool’s potential to take on the world and have doubled our business over the last three years. In CCI we believe we have exactly the right partners to help us develop our business and help us realise that potential. This investment will fast track our growth and allows us to build out our technology and content at a quicker pace for our customers benefit. I’m excited about the next phase of Learning Pool’s growth that will see us deliver more product innovation and significant expansion of our customer base and our team.”

Jonny  Cosgrave, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group said:
“Learning Pool is well positioned to continue growing its share of the estimated £675 million UK e-learning market. We’ve been impressed with Learning Pool’s innovative technologies, quality of service and the entrepreneurial leadership team, and we look forward to supporting further growth of the business. We’re also delighted to complete our first investment in Northern Ireland and we continue to look at other potential investments in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”

John Dolan, Managing Director, Cardinal Capital Group said:
“The recent trend has been for companies to spend more of their training budgets online. The ease of access for employees from mobile devices together with a more consistent experience means the e-learning market is growing at over 10% each year. Learning Pool is ideally placed to meet this demand with their online offering and training catalogues which companies can customise as they require. Effectively, Learning Pool provides its customers with a one-stop solution for their e-learning needs.”

Equity for the investment will come from Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, a £292 million private equity fund focused on growth capital and buyout investment opportunities across the island of Ireland. The fund has previously completed investments in Abtran, a business process-management company, Tullamore-based cooked meats producer Carroll Cuisine, Kildare-based premium chocolate manufacturer Lily O’Brien’s, General Secure Logistics Services (GSLS), an Irish cash management solutions provider, and Payzone, the largest provider of multi-channel consumer payments across Ireland.

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