10.10.12 | News

Renovus Capital Partners Acquires The Ariel Group, a Leading Provider of Leadership Training to Corporations and Universities

Renovus Capital Partners (“Renovus” or the “Fund”) announced today the acquisition of The Ariel Group, LLC (“Ariel” or the “Company”). Renovus is an education-focused private equity firm based outside of Philadelphia, PA. Renovus acquired the business from the Company’s founders, Belle Halpern and Kathy Lubar.

The Ariel Group is a provider of training programs that teach leadership and communications skills to mid- and senior-level executives. Using techniques from the theater, Ariel trains managers on how to connect with their audience, whether it is a key client, a colleague or an employee. Participants in the Company’s two main programs, Leading with Presence and Personal Presence, are often employees that are transitioning to a more senior role and need to learn the communications and leadership skills to manage and inspire a team or organization. Ariel provides these training programs to a diverse mix of Fortune 1000 businesses and major MBA programs. Customers include Proctor & Gamble, American Express, Dartmouth Business School and Thyssen-Krupp.

“Partnering with Renovus represents a great opportunity for the Company,” noted Sean Kavanagh, Ariel’s CEO. “The Renovus team has had a lot of experience in the training sector and not only brings financial resources but also a real understanding of the marketplace and growth opportunities. We think that together we can build on the Ariel platform to create a much larger business in the years to come.”

“Sean and his team have built a solid business with a unique offering,” added Atif Gilani, a Renovus founder. “The Company’s ongoing success with customers like Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group really highlights the strength of its value proposition and its market leadership. Within their niche they are the best of the best. ”

“We are very excited to be partnering with Ariel’s management team to take the Company to the next level,” concluded Brad Whitman, a Renovus founder. “The Company’s training methodology can be easily extended to other areas like presentation skills and sales training that would provide significant opportunities for growth. With backing from Renovus, Ariel will have the resources to make these investments and really scale the business.”

With the transition of ownership to Renovus, Ariel Group founders will be starting a non-profit organization to provide world class coaching in leadership presence for those transforming challenged schools into resilient and inspiring learning environments. “We are thrilled to be able to help school leaders – principals, teachers, and administrators – powerfully enroll others in their vision of how to promote student learning and close the achievement gap,” notes founder Belle Halpern.

As part of the transaction, Eastern Bank is providing a working capital line of credit.

DLA Piper advised Renovus on the transaction while Mirus Capital and Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton advised The Ariel Group.


About Renovus Capital Partners

Founded in January 2010, Renovus Capital Partners is a $160 million, education-focused private equity fund based in Wynnewood, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. Renovus invests in small and mid-sized businesses within the education sector, including both educational institutions and companies that provide these institutions with technology, content and services. The Fund is particularly interested in growth-oriented businesses, and the Renovus team actively partners with management to build its portfolio companies through acquisitions, new strategic initiatives and operational improvements. The Renovus team has a combined 46 years of experience investing in the education sector and the founding partners have been working together since 2005. Renovus is a licensed SBIC. For additional information on Renovus Capital Partners, see www.renovuscapital.com.