Training business draws up plans for flotation

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Online training business Learndirect is drawing up plans for a flotation that will value the Sheffield-based company at around £100m.

The group’s private equity owner LDC, part of Lloyds Banking Group, has appointed stockbroker Numis Securities to advise on the listing.

Learndirect is the UK’s largest provider of skills, training and employment services and trains staff for firms such as McDonald’s and Costa Coffee.

It claims to have trained millions of people in Britain and also runs the Life in the UK exam, which tests new citizens’ knowledge of Britain.

Following the float, both LDC and the group’s management will keep a stake in the business.

LDC and Learndirect declined to comment on the potential float.

It is thought that LDC also considered a trade sale.

Skills charity Ufi, which was created by the Government in 1998, launched Learndirect in 2000.

Ufi was given a remit to use new technology to transform the delivery of learning and skills across the UK.

​LDC bought Learndirect for around £40m ​in 2011.

In 2012 ​L​earndirect and JHP Group merged to form the UK’s largest supplier of skills, training and employment services.

Learndirect specialises in qualifications in everyday skills such as maths, English and IT and offers vocational qualifications and apprenticeships in a wide range of industries.

It also specialises in higher-level professional qualifications and short courses in subjects from software packages to languages.

​The group describes itself as a​ national provider with 400 locations around the UK, giving it the largest geographical footprint in the sector.

The Centre for Brand Analysis awarded ​the firm ​Business Superbrand status for 2014​,

Superbrands is an annual initiative to identify and celebrate the strongest consumer and business to business brands in Britain.

Brands do not apply or pay to be considered for Superbrand status​.

T​he accolade is awarded after 
a​n independent selection process.