London-based mthree, an education services provider, has been acquired by US-listed group John Wiley & Sons for nearly £100 million. Known simply as “Wiley,” the global publishing company focuses on academic and instructional materials, and runs a robust educational services program for universities and employers.
Founded ten years ago, mthree aims to fill the widening gap between demand and supply of top IT talent. Essentially, the company sources and trains new technology talent, then sets them up with roles in leading corporations, financial institutions, technology companies, and government agencies. In addition to placing brand new employees, mthree also retrains existing team members to meet evolving technology demands within a given company. According to industry standards, 2020 will see over 1.8 million unfilled computer-related job opportunities in the US and EMEA, yet only 100,000 computer science grads. The need for training services is undeniable, and these statistics explain the mthree’s own growth numbers. The UK company’s 2019 revenue is expected to surpass $50 million, with a projected annual growth rate of over 20 percent. Commenting on this growth and the acquisition, CEO and founder Alex Headley said: "The last five years have seen tremendous growth for mthree. We have been on a journey from a start-up to a global corporation that includes partnerships with the world’s largest banks and disruptive tech businesses. Wiley will enable mthree’s strategic growth plans to be realized, helping more graduates navigate the changing world of work and our clients grow their businesses with the right talent.” Its educational services will bolster Wiley’s existing educational content and platforms that target high-demand professional skills. Todd Zipper, President of Wiley Education Services said, “mthree is a terrific company that extends Wiley’s unmatched portfolio of education services right into the workplace. They effectively eliminate the friction that exists in the labor market when students leave higher education and try to enter the workforce and, in doing so, they create a win-win-win for the university, the corporation and, most of all, the student.” ECI Partners, a mid-market private equity firm, invested in mthree in 2018. The firm’s Head of Business Services, Richard Chapman, said: "We believe this transaction will further accelerate mthree's North American growth, which has been a key part of the company's transformation over the past two years. We would like to thank Alex and his team for a very successful partnership and wish them well for the future.” Under the terms of the agreement, mthree shareholders received approximately $129 million (£98 million) in cash at closing on January 1.