2023 AIBB National Business Broker of the Year Finalist
2022 AIBB Specialist Business Broker of the Year (QLD)

What is EBITDA?

EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation, is a widely used measure of a company’s operating performance. It’s particularly useful for assessing the profitability of a company before the impact of financial and accounting decisions—making it a popular metric in various industries, including Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

For an RTO, EBITDA can be particularly telling as it highlights the core profitability of the educational services provided, excluding the effects of financial structure, tax rates, and large non-cash accounting items like depreciation of educational equipment or amortisation of intangible assets. Here’s how EBITDA relates to an RTO in a practical sense:

  1. Operational Efficiency: EBITDA gives a clear view of the profitability from the core activities of the RTO—i.e., delivering training and education—without the noise of how the organisation is financed or how it handles its taxes.
  2. Benchmarking: It allows for better comparability with other RTOs by removing the effects of different capital structures or tax strategies. This is crucial when you’re comparing RTOs that may have different levels of investment in physical assets or different financing arrangements.
  3. Investment and Valuation: It helps in determining the potential earnings capacity of an RTO, which is essential for pricing in a sale or acquisition. EBITDA multiples are often applied to this figure to estimate the enterprise value of an RTO.
  4. Financial Health: EBITDA can also be an indicator of financial health and cash flow available to pay down debt, invest back into the business, or distribute to owners. For an RTO, which might rely on upfront payments or government funding cycles, this can provide insights into cash management effectiveness.
  5. It is the way RTO are valued in the market place.

When using EBITDA, it’s also important to remember its limitations—it doesn’t account for cash needed to replace depreciating assets.

What is amortisation? I understand the other parts of EBITDA.

Amortisation is the accounting process of gradually writing off the initial cost of an intangible asset over its useful life. This helps in spreading the expense of the asset over several years, reflecting its consumption and utility over that period.

Amortisation in a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) typically involves the systematic write-off of intangible assets over their useful life. Intangible assets in an RTO could include a variety of items that provide value over multiple years but aren’t physical in nature. Here are some examples:

  1. Curriculum Development Costs: The costs associated with developing educational courses or programs can be amortised. This includes the design, development, and structuring of courses, which often involve significant initial investment. As a training package typically is 5 years, amortisation is used for a 4 year period.
  2. Accreditation Fees: Costs incurred to obtain accreditation for new courses or to renew existing accreditations can be capitalised and amortised over the period the accreditation is valid. This reflects the enduring benefit of the accreditation.
  3. Software Licenses: Many RTOs use specialised educational or management software, the costs of which can be amortised over the useful life of the software. This could include learning management systems (LMS) or student management systems.
  4. Purchase of another RTO: If an RTO acquires another business, the premium paid over the tangible asset value of the acquired business (goodwill) can be amortised. Goodwill amortisation is somewhat more complex and requires careful accounting to reflect true business value.
How do you get paid?

There is no cost to buyers for using our services unless specifically engaged as a buyer’s agent – more about that later. Our fees are typically charged to the seller, ensuring that our interests align with delivering the best possible outcome.

We stand behind our vast expertise, experience, and industry knowledge and operate on a success-based fee structure. This means our payment is contingent upon the successful transaction of the property—ensuring we only succeed when our clients do. This aligns with our pillars of transparency and integrity and keeps our focus on achieving results.

Additionally, we manage all associated costs such as advertising, marketing, administration, and listing. We journey alongside both vendor and buyer, guiding each step towards the successful completion of the sale, ensuring a seamless process for all parties involved. This approach not only exemplifies our dedication to superior service but also reinforces our foundational pillars within every transaction we handle.

How does Infinity evaluate my RTO?

We use over 80 factors to determine the current value of the RTO. Instead of me listing them all here, here are two videos that tackle this question.

How to value a RTO so that you maximise the opportunity.

The advanced science behind RTO valuations

Why is a RTO considered a non-depreciating asset?

This does not apply to all RTO as a starting statement. It DOES apply to RTO that are shell RTO or CRICOS. It also applies to RTO with funding. Here is a video that goes into detail.

The hidden value in a RTO

How do I know the price if fair and that the information on the business provided is true and correct?

We take a process driven approach and as we are industry specialists we take the time and effort to educate the vendor on the current market conditions.

In short, we use the exact same process for valuing the RTO to the vendor as we do when discussing it with the buyer – No games, no gimmicks, no “meeting in the middle”. Our job revolves around education and not as much negotiation.

Ensuring the price of a RTO is fair and information provided is accurate and truthful is central to our existence. Here’s how we maintain our standards of integrity, transparency, and superior knowledge:

  1. Expert Valuation: We conduct thorough valuations using up-to-date market data and our extensive industry expertise to ensure that the price reflects the true market value of the business. This process includes examining financial records, market conditions, and comparable business sales.
  2. Transparent Information: We uphold a strict transparency policy where all information provided to potential buyers is verified for accuracy and completeness. This includes financial statements, business operations, legal compliance, and other critical factors affecting the business.
  3. Due Diligence Assistance: We guide both buyers and sellers through a comprehensive due diligence process. This involves verifying all aspects of the business, from financial audits to operational checks, to ensure that every detail is scrutinized and confirmed. We use other industry experts including compliance, legal and accounting specialists.
  4. Open Communication: We encourage open communication and facilitate dialogue throughout the process at the right times. By ensuring all parties are fully informed and that any concerns are addressed, we uphold our commitment to fair and honest transactions.
Typically, what is involved in Due Diligence?

We are super proud that we will save you time and money during due diligence as we see our role in due diligence as basically going to work for you. Our vast industry experience will be your friend. We are unlike other brokers that sit in the corner of the vendor and do not move, we conduct almost forensic due diligence BEFORE we take on a listing and this means we can and will assist you.
There are normally 4 parts to the DD process.
Legal – Who owns the shares, structures, leases, etc
Financial – Validation of accounts provided
Compliance – Internal audits, external audits, History
Operational – How is the business run on a daily/weekly basis

What is involved in the Buying process?

There are many steps involved and the key to know is we have your back throughout the process and importantly, we have clearly defined processes for the purchase of a your new RTO.

Here are two videos discussing the two stages in the RTO buying process.

Your stress-free guide to buying a RTO

Your stress-free guide to buying a RTO (Part 2)

As you go through the process, we will answer all questions not covered in the videos.

Will I be able to Meet the Vendor and inspect the business?

When the time is right – Absolutely!

Meeting the vendor is an essential steps in our process. We ensure these interactions are highly efficient and informative. Before you meet with the vendor, we’ll provide you with all the necessary details about the business to verify the information firsthand. This approach is designed to maximise the value of your time and make the meeting as productive as possible.

Sometimes though, these meetings are not needed if it is a simple shell transaction but we are always ready to have the meeting if required.

During the meeting, normally on zoom, a member of our experienced Infinity team will moderate the meeting. Our presence adds significant value, as we bring a deep understanding of both the buyer’s and the vendor’s perspectives, along with extensive industry knowledge.

This critical phase of the process is often where potential deals are most vulnerable.

By actively facilitating these meetings, we aim to address and resolve any issues that might arise, thereby smoothing the path towards a successful transaction.

This hands-on approach not only helps prevent the deal from falling through but also moves us closer to completing the sale, ensuring all parties are satisfied and fully informed throughout the process.

What is the process for change of ownership of the RTO?

The ownership of the RTO does not change. Let me explain….
The company owns the RTO registration so it will be a Share Sale Agreement.
The RTO is and asset of the company, just as the website, bank account, resources, funding, staff, etc are assets of the company. We are not actually selling the RTO we are transacting on the shares of the company, the assets of the company and the assets of the business. This means the only change is to director and shareholders.

Therefore, the basis of change is the “Fit and Proper Person” check.

The “order of events” is as follows:
If state funding is involved, this is the necessary first step.
Once the funding changeover is confirmed (and we use this as a condition precedent to settlement” the next change is at ASIC level. This is the settlement as shares are transferred to the buyer.
The buyer then has 90- days to advise ASQA of the material change.
The only difference is if the business is a CRICOS business, we notify them on the morning of settlement.

We will have your back through the process and our vast experience means we have a good idea of how to transact the sale in the most seamless way.

What is the process for changes to scope?

We have a range of consultants that can work with you across all states to add to scope, change locations, apply for CRICOS, complete Financial viability reports and more. We are proud of our Infinity network to ensure you are always treated with professionalism.

How much does it cost to add a new course/scope to RTO?

ASQA has moved to a fee-for-service model. The cost to add to the scope can be found here: https://www.asqa.gov.au/about/fees-and-charges/guide.

If you use the guide of $3000 per qualification you will not have any surprises.

Can CRICOS Business and RTO State Funding operate as a single entity?

Technically they can however they are almost like two different businesses. Different TAS, different attendance, different compliance. My suggestion is to focus on one of them and then add the second.

I am looking to acquire/buy a RTO. Do you offer Buyer's Agency?

Yes we do offer Buyer’s Agent Services to acquire a RTO or CRICOS or Higher Education business.

If you know your target industry sector or state, we can act for you to be in the position to understand the opportunities.

We assist individuals or companies by providing guidance, market analysis, and transactional support.

As a guide this service costs between $5,000 and $10,000. Please contact us for further information and guidance.

What are the qualifications and experience of the person handling my transaction?

Travis Latter has refined his knowledge of the RTO industry after starting his own RTO, holding CEO roles with National and International Training Organisations, becoming Acquisitions Manager for an ASX listed company, consulting to over 350 RTOs & Training Organisations and successfully brokering over $135M in RTO Sales.

This experience and dedication provides him with the ability to work closely with all industry stakeholders to ensure successful transactions happen in the optimum time-frames, with the best results.

Travis understands the needs of vendors and purchasers alike and with sharp business acumen and a wealth of business experience Travis guarantees to deliver service based on integrity, commitment and energy.


Expertise, Qualifications and Memberships

  • Responsible for over 130 RTO transactions
  • Previous RTO owner
  • Previous RTO CEO
  • Consulted to over 200 RTO on sales and systems
  • Acquisitions Manager for public company purchasing RTOs
  • Commenced Infinity sales training and Consultancy services
  • Specialist RTO Business Brokers since 2017
  • AIBB Member
  • Certified Practicing Business Broker
  • AIBB Chairman – Education and Training
  • 2022 Specialist Business Broker of the year
  • 2023 National Business Broker of the year (Finalist)
What is the cost associated with selling a business with Infinity Business Brokers?

We are very transparent on the associated costs. We only get paid when the vendor gets paid and as such we are happy to back our experience, knowledge and expertise.

Business brokers typically earn a commission based on the successful sale of a business. The commission is usually a percentage of the total transaction value, and the specific percentage can vary based on factors such as the size and complexity of the deal.

We charge nothing at the front end as we work as the partner in the transaction.

As a rough guide:
Businesses valued under $2,000,000 = 10%
Businesses valued between $2M and $3m = 8%
Businesses valued between $3M and $5M = 6%
Businesses valued between $5M and $8M = 5%
Businesses over $5M = 4%

A vendor said to me once, “That is a lot” and the reply was “It is a lot of work”. Here is a link to give you comfort of what we will do for you.

Do you do an Information Memorandum (IM)?

Typically, we do not produce IM for each business. There are six reasons for this.

1.I found most IM I’ve read a full of broker fluffery that doesn’t give any significant data.

  1. I would prefer to give you the raw data so you can make a proper analysis
  2. The data is always fluid and therefore locking it in to an IM would mean rewriting the document every couple of weeks and I don’t think that is in a buyers best interest.
  3.  It is always preferable to have the data to allow better discussions about the specifics.
  4. Raw data speeds up the process.
  5. Our experience shows each buyer has different requests and comes from a different background of skills and experience.

We will always provide an Executive summary.

Does every business sell?

The simple answer is YES (with a few ‘IFs attached)
IF we do our job right in valuation than yes. This is crucial and as Infinity value every business, instead of the vendor, we can benchmark each business against everything else in the education sector we have sold over the last 8 years.

IF the vendor is equally transparent then – yes.

IF the data we receive is current, accurate and explained then – yes.

IF timeframes are realistic. We will always explain the current market conditions noting the Education industry changes or pivots roughly every 3 months.

IF the vendors expectations match market realities then – yes.

We have over 8000 registered RTO buyers so we know if the above are considered then the answer to the question is a big fat – YES!

How long will it take to sell my business?

This is hardest question to answer because I am not the buyer. Our experience shows, if we get the above right and follow our processes we will achieve the result with the highest price, in the least amount of time with the best terms.

There are many factors that will contribute to the timing.

Normally within 7 days from being advertised we are receiving enquiries.

We then filter out those not suitable because they are not ready to buy and we go to work with the buyers.

Have you dealt with a business similar to mine before?

YES and NO. We have sold over 140 RTO, CRICOS and Higher ED over 8 years so there is very little we have not seen. BUT, every RTO is different and we appreciate the nuances in the industry. We can promise one thing – We will have your back throughout the whole sale timeline.

Do you have testimonials?

Yes, we are very proud of our work and every single word in our testimonials comes from the exact words of our buyers and sellers. The common thread would be our experience, integrity, knowledge and patience.

Do I tell you (Infinity) what I want for my business and you list it at that price?

We prefer to go through the appraisal WITHOUT knowing what you think the business is worth as we prefer to use market data when valuing an education business. It is important to strike a balance between vendor expectations and what the market will realistically support. Our experience will assess your desired price against our market analysis and provide you with a recommendation that maximises your outcomes while keeping expectations realistic. This approach ensures transparency and aligns with our commitment to integrity in our dealings.

We are not in to “putting a price on it and seeing what happens” (and you should be wary of this unsophisticated price. We rely on empirical data and concrete market data to value your educational business.

We set the price based on a deep understanding of the market, incorporating extensive data analysis and industry insights. Our goal is to ensure your business is positioned competitively while achieving the best possible return.

We factor in the unique aspects of your business, current market conditions, and comparable sales.

By aligning our pricing strategy with these elements, we aim to attract serious buyers and secure a successful sale.

When is the best time to sell?

The answer to this is when you are sale ready.

Looking at the 135 Educational businesses we have sold, only 4% of these were totally sales ready. This totally blew me away when I analysed it.
By not being sale ready we immediately lessen the chances of achieving our ‘Holy Grail’ of the three focus points we search for:

  • The Highest possible price
  • Least amount of time for the transaction and
  • Best terms

Therefore, the worst time to sell is when you really, really are desperate to sell. Preparation wins all the time!

Can I get funding to buy a RTO?

Yes, you can get funding to buy a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Australia.

The funding options primarily include commercial loans from banks, vendor finance where the seller provides the funding terms, investments from private equity if it’s a larger scale acquisition, or potentially using personal capital for self-funding. Each of these methods has different implications for control and financial commitment, so it’s essential to carefully consider which option aligns best with your financial situation and business goals.

That being said, as there are no fixed assets normally, banks will lend up to 50% at best.

Here is a link to a video with a lending specialist

Why should I use a business broker?

Selling an education business can be an extremely time consuming process. It is essential to have the right team in place to assist you along the way. Employing a broker to assist with the preparation of the business for sale and throughout the sale process will free up the owner to continuing doing what they do best and that is the day to day operation of the business. Your broker can work with your accountant and legal team to save you both time and money throughout the process.

A Broker will be able to give you an objective valuation of your business and will also be able to provide you with a clear picture of the current market. A Broker will also have the ability to match your business with targeted buyers.

Here is a video on some of the things Infinity do:

Do you charge for Advertising or Marketing?

We do NOT charge an advertising fees or marketing fees. We do not charge a listing fee either. Why? We believe in getting the right result so we only charge a commission based on the sale price. We appreciate some other generic brokers may have a lower commission however, the service we provide is far greater and the value we provide is measurable.

Please take a look at our website, www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com.au to learn about us. Here you can also see recent testimonials from satisfied clients. They always are our best advertisement!

Will you do an open listing?

As we do not take anything upfront, we want to know we are working hard in the view we will get paid when we get the result. To be honest, finding the buyer is the easy part, getting you safely to the finish line is where the skill set comes in and something we are proud of. It is for these reasons, we tend to only do Exclusive Agreements.

I understand this may not work for everyone. We have found the only time something goes amiss is when we do not follow our detailed processes. As such we do prefer to always follow the tried, tested, and trusted processes.

How do you ensure compliance with Australian laws during the sale process?

We work closely with legal professionals and regulatory bodies to ensure all aspects of the transaction comply with Australian laws and regulations. This includes adherence to ASQA standards for RTO sales.

What kind of post-sale support do you offer?

Our post-sale support includes assisting with the transition process, providing guidance on operational handover, and offering strategic advice to ensure a smooth transition for both the buyer and seller.

Can I keep the sale of my business confidential?

Yes, we understand the importance of confidentiality. We take measures to protect your identity and business information throughout the sale process, disclosing details only to qualified and serious buyers who have signed confidentiality agreements.

What should I do if I have more questions or need further assistance?

Feel free to contact us directly via phone, email, or our website contact form. Our team is always ready to assist with any additional questions or provide further information as needed.