Northcoders expands with Tech Returners acquisition

Northcoders has announced an agreement to acquire Tech Returners Limited, a technology re-training business for senior-level personnel for £1.576 million in cash and shares.  

“This strategic acquisition will further diversify Northcoders’ business services division, adding a new income stream to the group’s growing corporate-focused business model …” said Northcoders.

“Following the acquisition, Northcoders will not only benefit from entry into a new service area, specialising in senior level re-training, but the team of 16 Tech Returners will significantly support the group in building a significant presence in key locations such as London.  

“There is a solid shared cultural focus on diversity in the technology sector, with over 60% of returners being women and a strong track record of training ex-services personnel, refugees and supporting international disposition.”

Northcoders is a provider of training programmes for software coding and is based in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Birmingham.

Founded in 2016, Tech Returners specialises in remote training and placing of senior level professionals looking to re-enter the workplace in the technology sector.  

Tech Returners’ corporate clients have included global brands such as AutoTrader, BBC,,, The Guardian, Holiday Extras, Lloyds, On the Beach and the Telegraph.  

Tech Returners is expected to be fully integrated by Q2-2023 and will continue to operate under its existing brand.

Northcoders CEO Chris Hill said: “As demonstrated in our interim results announced last September and also in our recent trading update issued on 31 January 2023, Northcoders is experiencing record demand as our reputation as a leading UK technology training provider grows and the demand for technology-skilled personnel continues to increase.

“The UK-wide digital skills shortage is forcing corporates to reassess the skillsets of their workforces and creating more and more opportunities in the sector.

“The lack of supply to meet this demand is in turn pushing salaries to record highs and, increasing the attraction for senior level professionals to retrain as technology engineers.

“Tech Returners is a leading technology re-training business in the UK with a high-quality corporate client list.

“We look forward to welcoming their team into our enlarged Group and look forward to continuing to build on its existing success.”

Tech Returners’ CEO & Co-Founder Rebecca Taylor said: “The combination of both our organisations gives us an increased opportunity to have a really tangible impact on diversity and inclusion within the technology industry.

“The power of the group provides opportunities across different levels and backgrounds for organisations and individuals.”

Northcoders added: “Pursuant to the terms of the acquisition, the company has agreed to acquire the entire equity interest in Tech Returners from Rebecca Ferguson (néeTaylor ) and James Heggs (the Tech Returners Founders), for a total consideration of £1.576 million, to be satisfied in cash and shares.

“The initial consideration of £1.326 million will be satisfied on completion by payment of £0.326 million and the issue of 322,580 new ordinary shares of £0.01 each in the capital of the company.  

“Deferred consideration of £0.25 million is payable twelve months post completion in cash.

“Completion of the acquisition is conditional on admission to trading of the consideration shares which is expected to take place on 8 February 2023.  

“The cash consideration and deferred consideration will be financed through the group’s existing cash and debt resources.  

“The consideration shares will be issued on a non-pre-emptive basis utilising the company’s existing shareholder authorities. 

“In addition, the acquisition agreement contains lock-in provisions pursuant to which the Tech Returners founders have agreed that subject to certain customary exceptions for a period of twelve months from the date of completion, they shall not transfer or dispose of the consideration shares without the prior permission of the company and for a further period of twelve months, the Tech Returners Founders shall only sell, transfer or dispose of the consideration shares through or with the agreement of WH Ireland.

The Tech Returners founders will join the Northcoders senior leadership team on completion of the acquisition and their commitment to staying with the enlarged group is supported by their willingness to accept the consideration shares.  

“Rebecca has years of experience as a human resources leader within the technology sector and James has many years of experience as a chief technology officer, much of this within the consultancy area, and both will be a tremendous asset to the group’s business services division.”