E-learning group Shaw Academy agrees its second rescue deal in three years

Company says it will rebrand after €3.2m examinership deal

Online learning company Shaw Academy says it has agreed a deal to exit examinership for the second time in three years.

The Dublin-headquartered company, which provides online courses globally, issued a statement to say a €3.2 million rescue deal has been approved by the High Court. It named a new five-person board, which does not include the company's founder James Egan, who has been on leave from Shaw since it re-entered financial difficulty this year.

Shaw has been damaged by a deluge of customer complaints during the pandemic, and now says it plans to rebrand in the next few months, promising to “ensure continuity” for students.

The company named a heavy-hitting consortium of investors, including many who backed it in a €7 million package in its last examinership in 2019. They include UK-based investor Sean Tai as well as Mickey O'Rourke, a founder of Setanta Sports. It also includes ex-Virgin Group chief executive Stephen Murphy, who also took part in 2019.


Others investing this time round include David Moffitt, chairman of Folens publishing group, who is using his family's investment vehicle Cuatro Amigos. Former Viacom executive David Lynn is also participating, along with UK mobile tech investor Will Neale, angel investor Nicholas Paine, and former hedge fund manager Nicholas Beckmann.

David Brown, founder of Oxford Educational Group, and former BNP Paribas banker Guillame Amblard, are also taking part, Shaw says. The examiner is Colin Gaynor of Resolute Advisory.

Shaw says its new board includes Mr Tai, Mr Brown, Mr Lynn, interim chief executive Tara Looney, and former Folens chief executive John Cadell, who will serve as a representative of Mr Moffitt.

Shaw did not respond when asked if it has formally cut ties with Mr Egan, who was in separate proceedings sued by a former lender to Shaw earlier this year.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times