Learning Pool to create 100 jobs by Christmas after Marlin buy-in

Pictured at Marlin’s London office is Learning Pool chief product officer Mark Lynch, director of people and performance Louise McElvaney, Marlin Equity Partners’ Kieran Rafter, Jan-Olivier Fillols, Dan Broadhurst and Steven Hargreaves, Learning Pool group chief executive Paul McElvaney, chief commercial officer Duncan Shorts, chief executive Ben Betts and chief operations officer Deborah Limb. 

DERRY-based online training provider Learning Pool is set to hire 100 new staff in the next six months after it was bought by deep-pocketed global investment firm Marlin Equity Partners.

Learning Pool, which delivers content to more than 1,000 organisations and 5 million learners, had been on the market for £140 million.

And the cash injection from Marlin - which has $7.6 billion of capital under its management - will facilitate further job creation.

Indeed it was confirmed yesterday that plans already in place to hire an additional 100 employees across the group this year alone (its workforce has already grown to more than 260 across the UK and US).

Since an initial investment of around £20m from Carlyle Cardinal Ireland in 2016, Learning Pool - currently ranked as one of the UK's top 60 large best companies to work for - has experienced dramatic growth, with revenue increasing four-fold.

The company has also been at the forefront of launching next-generation learning technology products and has made four acquisitions in four years, most recently US-based Remote Learner, which enhanced its presence in the Americas, where is currently does about a third of its business.

But the Marlin strategic investment is expected to help accelerate further growth, both organically and through additional acquisitions.

Learning Pool founder and chief executive Paul McElvaney said: “Over the past five years we've achieved phenomenal growth with the fantastic support of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, and we’re very grateful for the help and encouragement we’ve had from its team.

“We’re delighted to have now found the right partner to help us continue our momentum and grow the Learning Pool brand globally.

“Marlin has an incredible heritage in helping businesses like ours scale and innovate. We’re excited to be working with them and confident that both our customers and our team will see immediate benefits from this investment.

“Our entire executive management team has re-invested in the company, providing a compelling foundation upon which we’ll build the next phase of growth.”

Jan-Olivier Fillols from Marlin said: “Learning Pool is extremely well-positioned to capitalise on a highly attractive market opportunity, and we are excited to partner with its exceptional team.”

And John Dolan, managing director at Cardinal Capital Group said: “Learning Pool has been a great growth story for Carlyle Cardinal Ireland.

“When we invested originally, it had 80 employees in one office and now has 260 people in six offices around the world, and with over 30 per cent of its revenue coming from North America.

“Paul and Louise McElvaney are outstanding entrepreneurs who have built a fabulous culture where all employees look after each other.”

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