Sir Terry Leahy takes 20% stake in Liverpool City Region’s LMA
Former Tesco boss, Sir Terry Leahy has made a multimillion-pound investment in the performing arts school behind the LMA Choir to fund its international expansion.
Leahy has come on board to help LMA, the Liverpool-based media, music and performing arts school, “develop and promote the brand globally”, taking a 20% stake in the business.
LMA was propelled into the spotlight when a group of its students, the LMA Choir, made it through to the live shows stage of last year’s X Factor with Robbie Williams as their mentor.
The funding from Leahy, alongside the investment firm William Currie Group (WCG), will be used to open an LMA school in London as well as five international campuses.
LMA’s founders, Richard and Simon Wallace, will continue to hold a majority stake in the business. Both Mr Leahy and Mr Currie have previously invested in growing small businesses. They have also backed Liverpool-based digital educational specialist Parentapps.
The pair began talks with brothers and co-founders of LMA Richard and Simon Wallace in 2018. Now, they have pledged their support to LMA and its students to help launch a new chapter of growth for the business, which includes opening a London campus and five international campuses.Sir Terry said:
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of LMA. The success is a true testament to Richard and Simon’s dedication, their team’s passion and, of course, our students’ talents. I’m looking forward to working closely with the team to help take LMA into its next chapter.”
Mr Currie, who has a track record in backing ventures at an early stage including such successes as ASOS, The Hut Group and Metapack, said: “It’s clear to see that LMA has a bright future and is on track for a fantastic period of growth.”
Based across two campuses at Hope Street and Duke Street, LMA offers BA Honours degree courses and BTEC courses in Acting, Digital Film & TV Production, Games Art & Animation, Music Performance & Industry and Musical Theatre.
Richard Wallace said: “We have some major developments in the pipeline and their support will help drive these forward to allow us to inspire more future stars than ever before to achieve their dreams – from across Liverpool and beyond.”
“It’s clear to see that LMA has a bright future and is on track for a fantastic period of growth,” said Bill Currie, founder of WCG. “I’m confident that, with the right support and growth strategy, [LMA’s] students will have an unrivalled platform from which to launch their career.”
The talks with Leahy and WCG began last year as LMA’s founders decided to capitalise on the attention The X Factor run had attracted for the school.
“2018 was an incredible year for us, creating lifelong memories for our students,” said Simon Wallace. “We are now focused on maintaining that momentum and continuing to build on our success.”