Birketts advises Ixion Holdings on ground-breaking skills joint venture


18 May 2016

Birketts has advised Ixion Holdings, a not-for-profit group of companies, on the formation of a new skills and training 50:50 joint venture with Shaw Trust.

Top 100 law firm Birketts has advised Ixion Holdings, a not-for-profit group of companies that is a subsidiary of Anglia Ruskin University, on the formation of a new skills and training 50:50 joint venture with Shaw Trust. The new company, Star Skills Ltd (STAR), will combine Ixion’s and Shaw Trust’s skills activities to create a new and innovative skills provider.

STAR aims to be the leading not-for-profit provider of skills and apprenticeships in the United Kingdom, providing quality services to the employers and clients that it will serve.

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is a £200m institution that has c.40,000 students studying at their various campus locations from around the world. ARU has international educational interests across Europe, Asia, Africa and the America’s.

Shaw Trust has a turnover of over £107m a year and employs over 1,438 people across over 200-plus locations. It is supported by over 600 volunteers and delivers contracts for eight major funding agencies.

Birketts advised on all legal matters. Partner Nigel Thompson, assisted by associate Laura Ryan, worked closely with the senior management of Ixion Holdings, to negotiate the terms of the new venture.

John Govett, chief executive (STAR Skills Ltd) and group chief executive officer (Ixion Holdings), said: “We have known Nigel and Birketts for a long time and were confident that together we could deal with all the issues we needed to resolve to make STAR a huge success. The Birketts’ team worked to a very tight timeline to meet our commercial requirements and gave us complete confidence that we could achieve our goal. It has been a pleasure working alongside first-class professionals.”

Nigel Thompson, corporate partner at Birketts, added: “It has been a demanding, but ultimately very satisfying, transaction to work on with Ixion Holdings. I am sure that STAR will be hugely successful and become the leading not-for-profit provider for skills and apprenticeships in the United Kingdom and will secure major new skills contracts in the very near future.”