Skerritts secures double acquisition Read more

  • Status: Realised
  • Date: 2010–2020
  • Sector:
    • Education & Training
  • Location: UK, Ireland, Germany
  • Buy & Build: 10

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BIMM Institute

BIMM is Europe's leading provider of creative arts education. With Sovereign's investment and support BIMM grew from two UK colleges to 12 colleges across Europe, and from 1,150 to c.8,200 students, and diversified its offering from modern music education to a broad range of further and higher education qualifications in the creative arts.

Investment Background

The arts and culture industry contributes around £11 billion a year to the UK economy. Students value the vocational nature of the courses BIMM is recognised for, thereby creating a strong student demand for their courses. As a specialist investor in the education sector, Sovereign recognised BIMM's high-quality offering and the opportunity to develop the group both organically and through acquisition. When the opportunity arose to back the MBO, the founding partners chose Sovereign.

Value Creation

  • 5 acquisitions
  • 5 new campuses opened
  • UK to European presence
  • Diversified its offering from modern music education to the broader performing arts and film making
  • Increased student numbers from 1,150 to c.8,200

The BIMM Growth Story

When Sovereign first invested in BIMM the Group had 1,150 students in colleges in Brighton and Bristol teaching contemporary music. At exit the Group had:

  • over 8,200 students
  • 12 colleges across Europe – including London, Dublin, Birmingham, Manchester, Berlin and Hamburg – established through five strategic acquisitions and five new campus roll-outs
  • moved into the broader creative arts and consolidated its position as a hub for music, performing arts and film-making as part of strategic diversification
  • a 83% graduate employment rate in the creative arts jobs market, and
  • been granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers in the UK by Order of the Privy Council.

Former students include Ella Mai, George Ezra, Mercy Sotire and James Bay, whilst Roger Daltrey became a patron.

At exit BIMM was recognised as Europe's leading provider of creative arts education.

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This has been an incredible journey with Sovereign. Everyone at BIMM has always been passionate about bringing a high-quality education offering to students who want to learn the skills that are most relevant to provide them with the best possible chance of a successful career in the creative industries. The attractiveness of our offering to students has been constant and with Sovereign's continued investment and strategic support, we were able to achieve more than we had ever envisaged.

Adam Carswell / CEO (2011 - 2023) / BIMM Institute