Barclays makes 2x return on GLS exit

Barclays Private Equity has sold its 70% shareholding in GLS, a specialist educational supply company to a specialist subsidiary of Findel plc in a £26.95m deal. The private equity firm achieved a total return of over two times its original investment.

Barclays Private Equity’s Birmingham office backed the management team of GLS in 2000.

Martin Pantlin, chief executive of GLS, said: “From its headquarters in the south east, GLS has consolidated its position as market leader in the provision of educational supplies in Greater London and has also significantly increased its reach in the south west and Midlands. The company has achieved good growth in sales since the MBO and today supplies 10,000 schools with more than 14,000 products including learning material, arts and craft materials and furniture. Since the buyout, GLS has extended its range of products and geographic spread of customers.”