Isosceles deliver LINE Communications to a successful exit

LINE, a client since 2004, chose Isosceles because of their considerable experience of the technology market and their positive track record of achieving successful exits for their clients.

Piers Lea, CEO, founded LINE in 1989 to provide digital learning and corporate communications.  Through innovative creation and delivery they have stayed at the forefront of a rapidly changing market.  LINE had a prestigious customer base (Land Rover, BP, the BBC, British Airways and the MoD to name but a few), a revenue of £8.5m and employed over 100 people in three locations – London, Zurich and Sheffield.

The Requirement

LINE operated in a market that demands substance, scale and ‘end-to-end’ delivery internationally.  They needed to find a consolidation partner able to provide further critical mass, investment and the capability to become a truly global player.

LINE entered discussion with Learning Technologies Group (LTG) whose stated intention, on floatation on AIM in November, 2013, was to ‘buy and build’ to create a learning technologies business with revenues in excess of £50m.

LINE needed a lead advisor to prepare them for sale and take them successfully through the transaction.

Why Isosceles?

LINE has been an outsourced accounting client of Isosceles since 2004 and the relationship was strong.  Isosceles had supported them through their evolution to become a market leading company.  There had been many strategic discussions over the years regarding exit, value and timing.

LINE were also aware of Isosceles’ successful track record in helping clients realise a successful exit.

As founder and CEO of LINE, handing over control for our staff and clients was one of the most important, difficult and personal decisions of my business life.

Mike and the Isosceles team have been helping us with the decision and preparation over many years so that when the time came we knew it was right.

The Isosceles team were with us every step of the way and were a critical part of our successful transaction.”

Piers Lea, CEO, LINE

Isosceles' Role

  • Prepare LINE for sale – all aspects of the business operation were thoroughly reviewed: ownership and constitution; trading history; financial analysis; business strategy; pipeline and forecast; major customer/supplier contracts; employment contracts; make-up of the management team; financial controls and systems.
  • Identify any issues a buyer would raise about the business plan, operations and management team.
  • Determine the fair value of LINE and what steps could be taken to increase the value.
  • Identify potential consolidation partners.
  • Assist with the negotiation with LTG on LINE’s behalf.
  • Complete the due diligence process with LTG and LINE.
  • Guide and support Piers and the Board through the process.

The Results

In April, 2014 LINE were acquired by LTG in a deal worth £9m and combined with its existing company, Epic, to form the UK’s market leader in e-learning.

In July, 2014 a new learning technologies company called LEO was born

The business case for this transaction was one of the most compelling I have been involved with. The combination of skills, geographies and services has created a unique Group in the sector, this should be great news for the customers of both companies.

I am proud of the support our team has provided to LINE over the years and delighted to share this successful moment with them. Isosceles advised on the sale preparation and acted as the lead advisor on the transaction.

Mike O'Connell, CEO, Isosceles