Top Music College Grabs £50m Smash Hit Sale
The chain of music colleges which provided a launch-pad for the careers of artists such as The Kooks is closing in on a takeover valuing it at more than £50m.
Sky News understands that the owner of the Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) is in exclusive talks to sell the business to Bowmark Capital, a private equity firm.
Negotiations with BIMM's current controlling shareholder, Sovereign Capital, are expected to take several weeks before a deal is reached.
A successful sale is likely to result in a windfall for Sovereign's investors, who include Lord Nash, the parliamentary under secretary of state for schools.
BIMM's full name belies its national coverage, with sites in Bristol, Dublin and London now offering courses to almost 3,500 students.
Among BIMM's other prominent alumni is the Two Door Cinema Club drummer Ben Thompson, while The Who frontman Roger Daltrey has appeared at a number of the colleges' presentation ceremonies.
Bowmark, which is an investor in the Las Iguanas restaurant chain, has seen off competition from a clutch of other investment firms, including Providence Equity Partners, which owns Galileo Global Education, a higher education provider; TA Associates, owner of Florida's Full Sail University; and Equistone Partners.
Sovereign invested £10m in BIMM in 2010, boasting at the time that former students at the music education provider had scored 30 Top 40 UK singles.
Bowmark and Sovereign both declined to comment.