In November 2022, NCFE acquired 100% of awarding organisation Active IQ Limited from its US parent company Ascend Learning LLC. UNW provided both corporate finance advice and separate financial due diligence advice to NCFE.

Headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, NCFE is an award-winning educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning.

Based in Cambridgeshire, Active IQ is an awarding organisation and apprenticeship end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) focused on qualifications and career pathways in the physical activity and wellness sector.

In an agreement designed to combine the strengths of both organisations and offer a broader portfolio of qualifications for the benefit of all customers and learners, Active IQ continues to operate independently to maximise its specialist expertise and customer relationships.

UNW deployed an integrated Corporate Finance team, comprising both M&A and due diligence capability. This integrated team was fundamental to NCFE providing a single point of contact for all deal-related issues.

“The UNW Corporate Finance team worked consistently throughout the acquisition process, ensuring NCFE was well aware of any key, value-impacting issues that supported us with our negotiations with the vendor during the acquisition process. Furthermore, UNW’s ability to call upon other services including valuation, tax and VAT advice gave us an integrated project team that not only delivered a holistic but detailed understanding of the target but one that worked well with our other processional advisors.”

Kris Todd, CFO