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2 February 2015

Benchmark Holdings grows its online publishing business with the acquisition of Improve International

Benchmark Holdings Plc, today announced that it has acquired 100 per cent of Improve International limited (“Improve”), the Swindon-based veterinary Continuing Professional Development (CPD) business.

Benchmark Holdings Plc, today announced that it has acquired 100 per cent of Improve International limited (“Improve”), the Swindon-based veterinary Continuing Professional Development (CPD) business. The acquisition strengthens Benchmark’s Technical Publishing division, which provides global knowledge transfer, technical insight, e-learning and market analysis for people and businesses working in agriculture, aquaculture and the food supply chain.

Established in 1998 by a group of veterinary surgeons, Improve organises CPD courses for veterinary professionals across the UK, Republic of Ireland, Scandinavia and mainland Europe from its bases in the UK and Portugal. Led by veterinary experts in their field, Improve’s courses are run privately and are accredited by the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS) and/or Harper Adams University. Improve, in partnership with ESVPS and Harper Adams University, also provides courses and qualifications for Official Veterinarians in England, Scotland and Wales.

The veterinary Directors, David Babington, Heber Alves and Rui Lobao will all remain with the business.

Benchmark’s management believe there is considerable scope for online development of the courses within the digital arm of its Technical Publishing division. The division currently offers 15 distance-learning courses, which are tailored to develop core industry skills.

Commenting on the acquisition, Malcolm Pye, Chief Executive of Benchmark Holdings Plc said:

“The acquisition of Improve will enable us to combine our digital and distance learning expertise with Improve’s veterinary content across Europe, enhancing our ability to serve the professionals in our key veterinary markets.”

This is a significant step forward for our Technical Publishing division in both of the food and companion animal markets. We plan to take Improve’s successful, face-to-face courses and deliver content digitally on an international basis.

MALCOLM PYE

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF BENCHMARK HOLDINGS PLC

Headquartered in the UK, Benchmark Technical Publishing’s industry news sites serve over six million readers and subscribers across the world and are recognised internationally for their authoritative and trusted news commentary and analysis. It is also a leading publisher of technical books for agriculture, aquaculture and biological sciences, with over 435 books, e-books and DVDs, and 20 digital titles per year.