It’s been one of the busiest six months in memory at CPL Training Group, which signalled the end of an era and the start of an exciting, new chapter. In March, CPL Online, the Group’s e-learning company, was sold to CGA Group in a deal which sees CPL go back to its roots.
“Since 2010, CPL Online has achieved remarkable levels of growth,” said Daniel Davies, CEO of CPL Training Group. “In the last two years, the company’s position has stabilised, and after coming to the end of our five-year plan in 2017, we agreed the best direction for CPL Training Group is to focus on our core business model – face-to-face training.”
After months of consideration, the Group entered discussions with several interested parties. CGA Group, with its expertise as a data and research consultancy in the food and drink sector, was the most attractive buyer whose vision for the future was aligned with that of the stakeholders.
Davies said: “This is the right sale to the right party at the right time. I am hugely proud of our achievements with CPL Online to date, and I know the CGA team are the right people to build on that legacy. I look forward to working with them as we execute our exciting vision for CPL Training.”
In this new era for CPL Online, David Dasher, who co-founded the business in 2010, has been made chief technology officer. He is working alongside an expanded leadership team, comprising of Jon Collins as executive chairman and Jamie Campbell as chief commercial officer.
CGA Group chief executive Phil Tate said: “This is a great addition to CGA Group. CPL Online strengthens and extends our offer in UK hospitality while positioning us well for growth in new sectors and territories. We are fortunate to benefit from a strong management team, an excellent wider team in the Birkenhead offices, and an extensive suite of products and services, all of which have an excellent reputation in their respective markets.”
Soon after the sale of CPL Online, there was another announcement which forms a crucial aspect of CPL Training’s future. In April the board of directors appointed Louise Sui to take up the position of managing director at CPL Training.
Working alongside CEO Daniel Davies, Sui is tasked with leading the company onto the next stage of development. Sui joined CPL in 2011 as commercial director and delivered expansive growth across the business, including the market share for personal licence training (increased by 75% in the last five years). Prior to CGA’s acquisition in March, Sui took charge at CPL Online for 12-months, securing new clients and managing large-scale projects.
In her next mission as managing director, Sui is expected to lay the foundations to grow the company’s client base within new markets. The recent merger of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA) presents an excellent opportunity for CPL to achieve this. CPL is the training partner to the new organisation – UKHospitality – which represents a diverse range of businesses, from theme parks to hotels.
Sui will also oversee the introduction of bespoke training programmes for the licensed hospitality industry, with the aim of helping operators combat the challenges of today’s environment. The Investment Management programme is a prime example of this commitment, which is designed to help lessees with the transition of managing multiple sites.
Commenting on her new appointment, Sui said: “It’s an exciting time to take the lead at CPL Training. We are going back to our roots by concentrating on face-to-face training. Going forward our aim is to branch out and expand into the various avenues of the UK’s hospitality industry.”
In addition to this, we are stepping up our partnerships with operators to create relevant and valuable training programmes. We are already working alongside a number of clients to address their skills shortage and support them in managing their estate. I can’t wait to get started and build on our excellent progress.”
Davies, who led the decision to appoint Sui, said: “Since Louise joined the business seven years ago, she has been instrumental in growing our footprint and securing new business. Louise is passionate about what we do, and it’s only right that she is the person to take us to the next level. We are in a great position to achieve our objectives, and I look forward to what the future brings.”