BPEA EQT to commence Tender Offer to privatize Benesse Holdings, Inc. in partnership with its founding family


EQT is pleased to announce that BPEA Private Equity Fund VIII (“BPEA EQT”) has agreed to partner with the founding family of Benesse Holdings, Inc. (“Benesse”, or the “Company”, ticker symbol: TSE 9783) to commence a Tender Offer to privatize the Company. Benesse is Japan’s leading education and nursing care provider and is listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Company’s board of directors has approved the Tender Offer and recommends that shareholders tender into the Tender Offer, once commenced.

Headquartered in Okayama, Japan, Benesse is Japan’s largest provider of education services for all ages and is a household brand within the domestic education sector. Moreover, the Company is also the largest operator of fee-paying nursing care homes in Japan and operates over 350 facilities nationwide. Benesse has over 16,000 employees and JPY 411.8 billion (USD 2.7 billion) in net sales as of FY March 2023.

Japan’s education sector is growing, driven by an increasing demand for adult training and reskilling of its labor force, as well as increased demand for eLearning modalities in the K-12 segment. The nursing care sector is also growing, driven by demographic tailwinds of Japan’s aging population. Together with the founding family, EQT aims to further accelerate Benesse’s growth, leveraging its vast experience from developing education and elderly care platforms worldwide.

With this transaction, BPEA Private Equity Fund VIII is expected to be 40-45 percent invested (including closed and/or signed investments, announced public offers, if applicable, and less any expected syndication).

Please note that the commencement and consummation of the Tender Offer are subject to conditions.

EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com


Regulations on Solicitation
This press release is intended to provide information relating to the Tender Offer to the public and has not been prepared for the purpose of soliciting an offer to sell shares. If shareholders wish to make an offer to sell their shares, they should first read the Tender Offer Explanation Statement concerning the Tender Offer and make an offer to sell their shares at their own discretion. This press release shall neither be, nor constitute a part of, an offer to sell or purchase, or solicitation to sell or purchase, any securities, and neither this press release (or a part of this press release) nor its distribution shall be interpreted to constitute the basis of any agreement in relation to the Tender Offer, and this press release may not be relied upon at the time of entering into any such agreement.

US Regulations
The Tender Offer shall be implemented in compliance with the procedures and information disclosure standards provided by the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act of Japan, which procedures and standards are not necessarily identical to the procedures and information disclosure standards applied in the United States. Specifically, Section 13(e) or Section 14(d) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (as amended; “Securities Exchange Act”) or the rules promulgated under such Sections do not apply to the Tender Offer, and the Tender Offer is not necessarily in compliance with the procedures and standards thereunder. Any financial information in this press release has been prepared based on Japanese generally accepted accounting principles and may not necessarily be directly comparable to financial statements of companies in the United States. Also, because the tender offeror and the Company are corporations incorporated outside the U.S. and their directors are non-U.S. residents, it may be difficult to exercise rights or demands against them that can be claimed based on U.S. securities laws. In addition, shareholders may not be permitted to commence any legal procedures in courts outside the U.S. against non-U.S. corporations or their directors based on a breach of U.S. securities laws. Furthermore, U.S. courts are not necessarily granted jurisdiction over non-U.S. corporations or their directors.

The financial advisors of the tender offeror or the Company, and the tender offer agent and their respective affiliates may, within their ordinary course of business, purchase, or conduct any act toward the purchase of, the shares of the Company for their own account or for their customers’ accounts outside the Tender Offer prior to the commencement of, or during, the period of the Tender Offer in accordance with the requirements of Rule 14e-5(b) under the Securities Exchange Act to the extent permissible under the financial instruments and exchange laws and other applicable laws and regulations in Japan. If any information concerning such purchase is disclosed in Japan, the disclosure of such information will be made in the United States in a similar manner. 

The tender offeror and its affiliates may purchase, or conduct any act toward the purchase of, the shares of the Company prior to the commencement of the Tender Offer in accordance with the requirements of Rule 14e-5(b) under the Securities Exchange Act to the extent permissible under the financial instruments and exchange laws and other applicable laws and regulations in Japan, and to the extent described in this press release. If any information concerning such purchase is disclosed in Japan, the disclosure of such information will be made in the United States in a similar manner.

If shareholders exercise their right to demand purchase of shares less than one unit in accordance with the Companies Act, the Company may purchase its own shares during the tender offer period in accordance with legal procedures.

All the procedures in connection with the Tender Offer shall be taken in the Japanese language. While a part or all of the documents in connection with the Tender Offer may be prepared in English, the Japanese documents shall prevail in case of any discrepancies between Japanese documents and corresponding English documents.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 (as amended) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act. The actual results may be grossly different from the projections implied or expressly stated as “forward-looking statements” due to known or unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors. None of the tender offeror, the Company or any of their respective affiliates assures that such express or implied projections set forth herein as “forward-looking statements” will eventually prove to be correct. “Forward-looking statements” contained herein were prepared based on the information available to the tender offeror as of the date of this press release and, unless required by laws and regulations, neither the tender offeror nor its related parties including related companies shall have the obligation to update or correct the statements made herein in order to reflect the future events or circumstances.

Other National Regulations
Some countries or regions may impose restrictions on the announcement, issue or distribution of this press release. In such cases, please take note of such restrictions and comply with them. In countries or regions where the implementation of the Tender Offer is illegal, even upon receiving this press release, such receipt shall not constitute a solicitation of an offer to sell or an offer to buy shares relating to the Tender Offer and shall be deemed a distribution of materials for informative purposes only.

About EQT
EQT is a purpose-driven global investment organization with EUR 232 billion in total assets under management (EUR 128 billion in fee-generating assets under management), within two business segments – Private Capital and Real Assets. EQT owns portfolio companies and assets in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas and supports them in achieving sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on LinkedIn, X, YouTube and Instagram

Categories: News


Oakley Capital extends IU Group partnership with continuation vehicle


Oakley Capital (“Oakley”) is pleased to announce it has raised a continuation fund to extend its partnership with IU Group (“IU” or “the Group”), the largest and fastest growing university in Germany and a global leader in education technology. Oakley’s continuation fund, backed by investors including TPG GP Solutions, HarbourVest Partners, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Glendower Capital and Pantheon, is acquiring the business alongside Oakley Capital Fund V from Oakley Capital Fund III (“Fund III”). The business has performed significantly ahead of its original investment case and Fund III will realise a gross return of 85% IRR on its exit subject to completion.

IU is a digital disruptor in the very large and structurally growing higher education market, providing high quality, flexible and affordable online learning to adults and high school leavers.

IU Group
Fund III first invested in IU Group in 2017.

The transaction

The transaction extends Oakley’s successful partnership with IU Group and its senior management which began with its investment back in 2017. Oakley’s continued ownership and control of IU in combination with the leadership team running the business will ensure the long-term delivery of the Group’s vision to democratise education globally.

IU is a digital disruptor in the very large and structurally growing higher education market, providing high quality, flexible and affordable online learning to adults and high school leavers. The Group was an early adopter of artificial intelligence, successfully leveraging AI tools including early ‘natural language processing’ to scale its offering, and improve learning delivery and engagement with students. IU has the highest form of state accreditation in Germany and recently added separate U.K. and Canadian accreditations to its portfolio.

Oakley’s investment

Oakley has supported IU with investment in talent acquisition by leveraging its network to broaden the Group’s management team, as well as investing in student outcomes and marketing excellence. Significant investment in technology has enhanced IU’s IT delivery platform, enabling it to accelerate and scale every step in the value chain, from content creation to marketing and learning delivery. The Group has also hired more professors and opened new campuses to support blended teaching.

These investments have helped deliver strong student outcomes and increased enrolments. Student numbers have grown from 15,000 in 2017 to over 100,000 today. IU’s unique, digital platform now offers 350 accredited bachelor and master courses, representing the largest portfolio of degree programmes worldwide. IU has achieved an industry leading Net Promoter Score of 50+ and best-in-class student retention and outcomes.

Quote Sven Schütt

We are pleased to continue our partnership with Oakley which will help us drive the next phase of growth and continue our vision to democratise education across the globe. We are excited by the tremendous opportunity to further scale our business in our core markets as well as internationally.

Sven Schütt

CEO — IU Group

IU are democratising higher education by making it accessible to all:

Non-academic backgrounds

70% of IU students come from non-academic backgrounds.


The Group offers thousands of scholarships every year to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and developing countries.

B Corp

In keeping with its commitment to ESG, the business is working towards becoming a B Corp company.

IU Group is now on track to deliver c.€500 million in revenues in 2023. Oakley’s renewed partnership with IU will drive the next phase of the Group’s growth, with continued growth in existing markets, accelerated internationalisation driven by organic growth and acquisitions in key geographies. IU already offers more than 70 English language accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees and will expand the portfolio over the next phase.

IU is also leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence as the first global university to deploy an AI-powered teaching assistant across all its English programmes in order to enhance the individual learning journey for students.

Lazard acted as sole financial advisor to Oakley Capital in connection with the transaction.

Quote Peter Dubens

Sven and his team have redefined modern university education. They have consistently delivered on their ambitious targets, improved student outcomes, innovating with AI driven delivery, and expanding into new verticals and geographies. We are excited to continue to support IU as the Group accelerates its international growth.

Peter Dubens

Managing Partner — Oakley Capital

Categories: News


FMTC safety welcomes Smile Invest as partner for next growth phase

Fields Group

On 31st of January Benelux investor Smile Invest has acquired a majority stake in FMTC safety. FMTC safety is a market leading player in the field of certified safety training for professionals in the (off-/onshore) wind, oil & gas and maritime sectors. Smile Invest, together with management, acquires the shares from investor FIELDS Group and founder Rob Bruinsma.

FMTC safety, founded in 2014, provides certified safety training for professionals in the (off-/onshore) wind, oil & gas and maritime markets. FMTC safety has obtained a market leading position in the Netherlands and has – since opening its first location abroad in 2019 – obtained an ever more important role in the worldwide market. FMTC safety has, next to its 6 locations where training is provided, a strong digital platform and e-learning environment. FMTC safety is situated on a unique location next to Schiphol Amsterdam, with locations in the Netherlands, France, Saudi-Arabia and the United States. Together with management, Smile Invest acquires the shares from founder Rob Bruinsma and FIELDS Group, who have supported the business since 2017 in further expanding the business. The current management will stay in place and also Rob Bruinsma will remain involved with FMTC Safety.

Michel Hogervorst (CEO), who is leading the business since 2020 and has played an important role in the internationalisation and professionalisation of the business, will remain active in his current role and will co-invest alongside Smile Invest: “Smile Invest joining FMTC safety marks the start of the next growth phase of the business. Smile Invest brings an abundance of experience in the field of international expansion. Together with the management team, Rob Bruinsma and FIELDS Group we have expanded the business from a local player into a worldwide renowned player in the field of safety training. In this next phase, where quality will remain paramount while we will further expand the business, we believe that Smile Invest with its broad international network and entrepreneurial approach will be of great value for FMTC safety.”

Ivo Vincente and Ad Notenboom, (Managing) Partners at Smile Invest, add: “We are impressed with the professionalism and quality of the organisation in combination with the international position that FMTC safety has obtained in this relatively short period of time. We strongly believe in the further international growth ambitions through which FMTC safety can further expand its market share through organic and inorganic growth. The entrepreneurial character, combined with its strong growth ambitions, exposure to the durable wind sector and the ever increasing focus of the business on the digital environment fit perfectly within our investment focus. We look forward to support FMTC safety in this next phase of growth.

Joris van Gils, Partner at FIELDS Group: “With great pleasure we have teamed up with FMTC safety, Rob Bruinsma, Michel Hogervorst and the entire team to further professionalize the business and internationalize FMTC safety. Together we managed to triple the business in size and develop the company from one training location to a worldwide provider of safety training with 6 locations without loosing its DNA based on entrepreneurship, flexibility and quality. We wish FMTC safety, the entire team and Smile Invest the best in the further development of the business.”

About Smile Invest:

Smile Invest (Smart Money for Innovation Leaders) is a European evergreen investor with €350 million capital under management, backed by 40 entrepreneurial families with a long term focus on innovative and growing companies. Smile Invest focuses on companies around three investment themes: digitalisation, healthcare & well-being and sustainability and currently has a portfolio of 15 companies. From its offices in The Hague and Leuven the team supports ambitious entrepreneurs and managers in realising their growth plans.

Contact Smile Invest:
Ivo Vincente, Managing Partner • ivo.vincente@smile-invest.com ) +31 622 91 92 32

Ad Notenboom, Partner • ad.notenboom@smile-invest.com ) +31 6 54 28 60 98

About FIELDS Group:

FIELDS Group is an entrepreneurial hands-on investor focused on developing companies with potential. FIELDS Group invests in companies with headquarters in Benelux and the DACH region and realizes true transformations with its team.  www.fields.nl

Contact FIELDS Group:
Joris van Gils, Partner • j.vangils@fields.nl ) +31 641 31 33 39

Categories: News


Aurora Capital Partners Backed Grace Hill Acquires Edge2Learn and Ellis Partners in Management Solutions

Aurora Capital

GREENVILLE, S.C., Dec. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Grace Hill, an innovator of talent and customer management solutions for commercial and multi-family real estate, announced today that it has acquired Edge2Learn, an e-learning company providing training and policy management solutions in the multifamily industry, and Ellis Partners in Management Solutions (“Ellis”), a provider of mystery shopping and resident and employee survey solutions.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Edge2Learn and Ellis provide e-learning as well as policy, survey, mystery shopping and data-driven insights to help property owners and operators retain top talent and improve property operating and financial performance.  The companies have established a deep stable of industry leading content with over 600 online training courses that serve multi-family rental communities, including conventional, affordable, student and senior markets.  Together, the combined company will provide a next-generation employee and property intelligence platform that maximizes an employee’s potential and a company’s bottom line.

“Edge2Learn and Ellis share our commitment to developing best-in-class training, mystery shopping and management solutions to help leading real estate operators and owners increase property performance, reduce operating risk and grow and develop employees,” said Kendall Pretzer, CEO of Grace Hill.  “By bringing our resources together, we will create a clear leader in the industry, enabling us to further deliver on our mission to improve employee performance and development while delivering important insights to owners and operators.  I look forward to working with Joanna, Francis and the rest of the Edge2Learn and Ellis teams to continue advancing the innovative tools we offer the multi-family and commercial real estate industries.”

“Grace Hill, Edge2Learn and Ellis have established well-deserved reputations as leaders in real estate training and customer feedback,” said Joanna Ellis, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Edge2Learn and Ellis.  “We are excited to partner with the Grace Hill and Aurora teams to create a one-of-a-kind company that understands and continues to prioritize the needs of our combined customer base.”

“This combination will allow us to leverage the best of both companies,” added Francis Chow, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Edge2Learn and Ellis.  “Together, we will combine the best talent and integrated solutions to provide exceptional service to our customers with an expanded product portfolio, all while investing in new and innovative solutions to continue to address our customers’ most critical operating challenges.”

“We identified Grace Hill as a unique market leader with significant growth potential, and this is exactly the type of transformative transaction we look to execute early in our hold period,” said Rob Fraser, Partner at Aurora.  “The combination of these leading businesses and management teams will enhance long-standing customer relationships through a larger suite of scalable management and training solutions and deeper customer service capabilities, and we will invest aggressively to continue to be the innovation leader in the market.”

Since partnering with Aurora in May 2021, Grace Hill has enhanced its management team with the appointment of Kendall Pretzer as CEO in May 2021 and the addition of Charles Loop as Chief Financial Officer, Todd Harkness as Chief Revenue Officer, Rob Beauchamp as Chief Product Officer and Traci Johnson as Chief Marketing Officer.

Massumi + Consoli LLP and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal advisors to Grace Hill.

About Grace Hill
Grace Hill provides technology-enabled performance solutions that help owners and operators of real estate properties increase property performance, reduce operating risk and grow top talent. Its industry-leading solutions covering policy, training, assessment, survey, and data-driven insights are bolstered by years of real estate experience, in-depth service-level expertise and outstanding customer support. Today, more than 500,000 real estate professionals from more than 1,700 companies rely on talent performance solutions from Grace Hill. Visit us at gracehill.com or on LinkedIn.

About Edge2Learn
Edge2Learn is an e-learning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and policy management solutions. With almost 40 years of industry experience and a commitment to increase multifamily performance, Edge2Learn is passionate about delivering education, assessment, and policies that maximizes benefits for both companies and employees. Edge2Learn program engages learners and prepares them to deliver a superior customer experience. Also, in turn, it improves operating performance and reduces corporate liability risks and overall employee turnover.

About Ellis
Established in 1984 to evaluate customer service and performance of onsite leasing professionals through comprehensive mystery shopping reports, Ellis has become the nation’s leading apartment mystery shopping company.  The growing demand to further understand and improve lead conversion encouraged the company to expand into resident retention services in 2011, introducing multiple touchpoint resident survey programs that allow clients to understand their customer’s journey through customer feedback.  In conjunction with its survey platform, Ellis offers employee surveys that provide insight into the level of engagement with and loyalty to your organization and help you better understand your employees’ personal goals for career growth.

About Aurora Capital Partners
Aurora Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm focused principally on control investments in middle-market companies with leading market positions, stable industry dynamics, attractive business model characteristics and actionable opportunities for growth in partnership with management. Aurora provides unique resources to its portfolio companies through its Strategy & Operations Program and its team of experienced operating advisors. Aurora’s investors include leading public and corporate pension funds, endowments and foundations active in private equity investing. For more information about Aurora Capital Partners, visit: www.auroracap.com.

Media Contacts
Grace Hill
LinnellTaylor Marketing
Darcey Leach
(303) 682-5005

Aurora Capital Partners
ASC Advisors
Taylor Ingraham / Harriet Hartman
tingraham@ascadvisors.com / hhartman@ascadvisors.com

SOURCE Aurora Capital Partners

Categories: News


EdTech unicorn GoStudent to acquire DACH’s leading, centre-based tutoring company, Studienkreis, from IK Partners in landmark deal

IK Partners

GoStudent accelerates hybrid learning strategy to fuel future growth

Global tutoring market projected to reach USD 278 billion by 2026

Vienna / Berlin – December 2, 2022 – GoStudent, Europe’s leading EdTech company and one of the world’s largest online tutoring agents, today announced the acquisition of Studienkreis, the market leader in centre-based tutoring in the DACH region, from IK Partners (“IK”). The transaction accelerates GoStudent’s strategy to combine the best of both the online and offline world and to give people access to quality education through technology.

The global online tutoring market, valued at USD 150 billion in 2020, is projected to reach USD 278 billion by 2026[1]. Coupled with a global learning crisis that includes teacher shortages, learning gaps and access to education, GoStudent is leading the conversation on the future of learning that will deliver more value to families across Europe.

Over the past 12 months the company made a number of strategic acquisitions including UK-based Seneca Learning, Tus Media Group from Spain and Fox Education from Austria. These acquisitions allowed the company to extend into AI-based learning content, improve and increase access to tutors and the addressable market and offer communication solutions for schools and families. With the integration of Studienkreis, the company can now address families with a preference for centre-based learning or group classes. This positions GoStudent firmly at the forefront of the morning, afternoon and content education market.

“Over 1.5 million online tutoring sessions are booked each month at GoStudent, but we believe the future of learning is hybrid. Combining online and offline creates an omnichannel model which brings maximum value to families and builds a barrier for competitors,” explained Felix Ohswald, CEO and co-founder of GoStudent. “With today’s announcement, GoStudent now offers a full spectrum of learning solutions for every type of student and budget. In addition to our core, 1:1, online tutoring, we offer everything from freemium products to group classes. It’s this winning combination that will fuel our future growth while at the same time boosting profitability.”

Established in 1974, Studienkreis is Germany’s leading tutoring company with over 1,000 learning centres across the country. A pioneer in online learning since 2012, the company serves 125,000 families every year in the DACH region. Under the ownership of IK since 2017, Studienkreis expanded to Austria through the acquisition of LernQuadrat in 2018 and strengthened its market-leading position in DACH through increased brand awareness and the provision of high-quality tutoring services. By combining offline tutoring with online services as well as own-developed digital tools, Studienkreis shares a vision for developing a blended learning experience.

“Since our first meeting, it was clear the two companies shared a passion and belief that the future of learning is hybrid, and we believe technology is key to enabling that. GoStudent’s position in the online world, together with our strong brand and physical position in Germany, will create a blueprint for building individual, dynamic learning paths so each student can not only improve their grades but unlock their full potential,” added Lorenz Haase, CEO, Studienkreis. “We are very excited to be part of this next phase of growth.”

Nils Pohlmann, Partner at IK, added: “It has been a pleasure working with Lorenz and his team at Studienkreis. Education and people are the essence of our modern society and Studienkreis and GoStudent are leading players for tutoring services. We wish them the very best for their joint journey.”

Studienkreis will continue operating independently under its current leadership team while the two companies aim to identify synergies over time.


Categories: News


Riverside in a Class of Its Own


The Riverside Company, a global private investor focused on the smaller end of the middle market, has invested in Rockpointe, Inc. (Rockpointe), a premier healthcare education company. Rockpointe is a provider of accredited continuing education activities and related training for healthcare professionals. The acquisition is an add-on to Riverside’s portfolio company Clinical Education Alliance (CEA).

Rockpointe develops educational materials that are delivered either virtually or in-person and primarily generates revenue through grants from customers such as pharmaceutical sponsors, with no cost to training attendees. The company’s multi-channel offerings include regional events, online education and webinars across high-science therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, and cardiology.

“We are delighted to join forces with the leadership team at Rockpointe,” said Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund (RCAF) Co-Chief Investment Officer Peter Tsang. “This company brings a strong Primary Care audience – an area that CEA has been looking to expand into – as well as added scale in high-growth, high-science therapeutic areas.”

The acquisition of Rockpointe is the second add-on for Riverside’s CEA platform, following the purchase of MDOutlook, a provider of precision intelligence solutions that help life sciences companies develop and commercialise therapeutics and diagnostics in oncology, in July 2021.

This is one more example of Riverside’s dedication to its Education & Training and Healthcare specializations. The firm has invested in more than 270 platform and add-on companies in these two sectors since 1988 as part of its private equity and structured capital strategies.

“Rockpointe has significant scientific talent, new supporter and association relationships, and new service and product offerings,” said Riverside Vice President Mark Fishman. “We believe this investment will be highly accretive for CEA and enhance our ability to positively impact patient lives.”

Riverside invested in CEA, a provider of interactive live and web-based certified continuing medical education activities and related training for healthcare professionals, in December 2020, with a plan to expand its range of therapeutic areas and end user base, diversify its service offering outside of grant-funded CME training, and improve the company’s technology offering.

“We are thrilled to join CEA. This union provides our healthcare professional network with expanded educational content and access to the industry-leading learning and content portal. We look forward to extending our educational reach globally within the CEA network. It is a natural fit that supports our mission of providing education to improve patient outcomes,” said Tom Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Rockpointe.

Working alongside Tsang and Fishman on the investment for Riverside were Partner Jason Fulton, Associate Abeer Irfan, Associate Peter Muncey, Operating Partner J.P. Fingado. Operating Finance Executive David Kralic and Capital Markets Senior Partner Anne Hayes. Regional Director Origination, Will Davis, sourced the investment for Riverside.

Muellerholly BKG 300X450 Holly Mueller Consultant, Global Marketing and Communications Cleveland +1 216 535 2236

Categories: News


Ardian-backed AD Education acquires Oktogone Group, a leading player in online education and training


AD Education, a leading European higher education platform, announces the acquisition of the Oktogone Group (“Oktogone”), one of the market-leaders in digital education and training, previously owned by its founder, Regis Micheli. This transaction further consolidates AD Education’s leading position in the dynamic sector of higher education in Creative Arts. It also marks an important step for the Group by diversifying into online learning and accelerates its digital capabilities.

Founded in 2002 by Regis Micheli, Oktogone has developed a wide range of online training programs in areas such as Digital, Communications & Marketing and Management. This training is delivered through two platforms: ISCOD, an online school of higher education offering 100% work-study programs, and Visiplus, an online training platform for professionals.

Leveraging on a fast-growing market and recognized brands, AD Education will support Oktogone’s growth momentum and accelerate the launch of new programs. Oktagone will benefit in particular from AD Education’s large portfolio of face-to-face training programs.

With the recent acquisitions such as IMAAT (2021), Asfored (2022) and the European activities of SAE (in progress), Oktogone Group will strengthen AD Education’s position as a leader in higher education in the Creative Arts in full. Its range of services now includes all teaching media (in person, fully digital and hybrid) and is aimed at all audiences.

The deal will also allow AD Education to accelerate the digitalization of its existing courses at a time when students increasingly prioritize online teaching and learning.

”We are thrilled to welcome Oktogone within AD Education. We share common values and the same entrepreneurial DNA. Our complementary offerings and expertise will position the Group as a leader the fast-growing higher education market. We look forward to working with Oktogone and accelerating the group’s digitalization, in France and internationally, notably thanks to their high-quality team and platform.” Kevin Guenegan, Chairman of the AD Education Group

”We are very pleased to join the AD Education Group, which marks the beginning of a new chapter in Oktogone’s development. The mix of in-person and virtual learning, as well as the strong complementary with AD Education’s brand and programs, unlocks exciting opportunities for accelerating our growth in the years to come. This merger is a unique opportunity to create a leader in face-to-face and online education for the creative industries, both in France and in other countries where AD Education is present.” Regis Micheli, Founder of Oktogone

”We are proud to support AD Education and its management team in this new acquisition and to accelerate the group’s development plan, particularly in the digital space. AD Education now offers a diverse and complete range of programs that meet the needs of all learners, whether students or professionals. With Oktogone, the AD Education Group further strengthens its French and European leadership in the private higher education sector.” Emmanuel Miquel, Managing Director in the Ardian Buyout team


  • AD Education

    • Kevin Guenegan, Martin Coriat, Benoit Weckx
  • Oktogone

    • Regis Micheli
  • Ardian

    • Emmanuel Miquel, Nicolas Trani, Jean-Baptiste Hunaut, Anouk Daoudal
  • Seller’s advisors

    • Financial advisors: Financière de Courcelles (Martine Depas, Ambroise Boissonnet)
    • Legal corporate advisors: Cygler Avocats (Steve Cygler), Allrights Avocats (Patrice Planes)
    • Financial due diligence: D’Ornano (Claudia Foley, Marc-Olivier Longpré)
  • Buyer’s advisors

    • Financial advisors: Eurvad (Charles Guigan)
    • Legal corporate advisors: Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Eduardo Fernandez, Gil Kiener, Sarah Bibas)
    • Legal Financial advisors: Latham & Watkins (Xavier Farde, Carla-Sophie Imperadeiro)
    • Legal structuring advisors: Latham & Watkins (Olivia Rauch-Ravisé, Clémence Morel)
    • Commercial due diligence: BCG (Benjamin Entraygues, Guillaume Darrieus, Julien Vialade)
    • Financial due diligence: KPMG (Guilhem Maguin, Stephane Kuster)
    • Legal due diligence: KPMG Avocats (Benoit Roucher, Julie Brubach)
    • Tax due diligence: KPMG Avocats (Sophie Fournier-Dedoyard, Gauthier Moulins)
    • Social/labor due diligence: KPMG Avocats (Olivier Masi, Christine Piault)


Founded in 2009, AD Education is a leading European higher education platform, pure player in the field of Creative Arts and teaching to more than 22,000 students in 15 schools on 66 campuses in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Greece. AD Education covers 4 main sub-segments: Design & Graphical Arts, Media & Digital, Audiovisual and Culture & Luxury. Following the acquisition, will expand its presence in online education and will achieve revenues of more than 220 million euros.


Oktogone Group is one of the leading players in training and employment in the digital age. The group combines a range of expertise to support employees, students and job seekers in managing their careers. Oktogone also assists companies in developing the skills of their employees through continuous training, internal mobility and recruitment.


Ardian is a world leading private investment house, managing or advising $130bn of assets on behalf of more than 1,300 clients globally. Our broad expertise, spanning Private Equity, Real Assets and Credit, enables us to offer a wide range of investment opportunities and respond flexibly to our clients’ differing needs. Through Ardian Customized Solutions we create bespoke portfolios that allow institutional clients to specify the precise mix of assets they require and to gain access to funds managed by leading third-party sponsors. We also provide a specialist service for private clients through Ardian Private Wealth Solutions. Ardian is majority-owned by its employees and places great emphasis on developing its people and fostering a collaborative culture based on collective intelligence. Our 900+ employees, spread across 15 offices in Europe, the Americas and Asia, are strongly committed to the principles of Responsible Investment and are determined to make finance a force for good in society. Our goal is to deliver excellent investment performance combined with high ethical standards and social responsibility.
At Ardian we invest all of ourselves in building companies that last.

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Categories: News


Northlane Capital Partners Invests in Infobase


BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Northlane Capital Partners (“NCP”) announced today that it has made an investment in Infobase, a leading provider of cloud-based educational solutions, integrating content, tools, and technology to foster lifelong learning and deliver interactive learning experiences. NCP invested in partnership with the Infobase management team, led by CEO Paul Skordilis.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the Infobase team. We have known Paul for several years, and are excited to work alongside him and the rest of the Infobase management team as they continue to evolve the company into a leader in tech-enabled learning solutions.”

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Headquartered in New York, Infobase curates high-value content and uses its software platforms to deliver that content to students, educators, librarians, corporations, and parents. Its products are targeted primarily to the K-12 and higher education markets. Infobase has more than 160 employees and serves over 7,000 customers in the United States and internationally. Additional information is available at www.infobase.com.

“We are very excited to partner with NCP as we enter into the next phase of Infobase’s growth. NCP’s investment brings both capital resources and expertise to accelerate our company’s trajectory. NCP has an impressive track record of identifying and executing on acquisition opportunities, which will play a pivotal role in continuing to build upon our position as a leading player in the supplemental education market,” said Paul Skordilis, CEO of Infobase.

Justin DuFour, Partner at NCP, said, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the Infobase team. We have known Paul for several years, and are excited to work alongside him and the rest of the Infobase management team as they continue to evolve the company into a leader in tech-enabled learning solutions.”

Sean Eagle, Partner at NCP, added, “Infobase fits directly into one of NCP’s key areas of focus within our business services vertical, training and education. We look forward to leveraging our experience to help accelerate the company’s organic growth and M&A initiatives.”


Based in Bethesda, MD, NCP is a middle market private equity firm focused on key segments within the healthcare and business services sectors, where its principals have invested more than $1.6 billion of equity capital. NCP’s strategy is to partner with industry leading companies and great management teams, aligning incentives to accelerate growth and build value. For more information, please visit www.northlanecapital.com.



Justin DuFour, Partner
(301) 841-1375

Sean Eagle, Partner
(301) 841-1377

Chase Edmonds, Vice President
(240) 319-4102

Kalpana Siva, Senior Associate
(202) 984-0504

Categories: News


Quilvest Capital Partners and IK Partners enter exclusivity with Five Arrows Principal Investments to sell a majority stake in GEDH

IK Partners

Paris, May 25th 2022 – Quilvest Capital Partners (“Quilvest”) together with IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that an exclusivity agreement has been reached to sell its respective stakes in Groupe EDH (“GEDH” or “the Group”), to Five Arrows Principal Investments (“FAPI”), alongside the management team who will be reinvesting. A potential reinvestment from both Quilvest and IK is under review and being considered.

Founded in 1961, GEDH is a leading player in the private higher education sector in France, delivering certified graduate programmes and specialised MBAs across communication, artistic and cultural management, journalism, design, cinema and digital arts. Leveraging their long-established ties with a broad network of companies across the world, the schools of GEDH develop a teaching approach that is tailored to meet the needs of students and to the requirements of work environments, specifically with regards to creative and cultural industries.

The Group is headquartered in Paris, France with close to 400 employees serving approximately 10,000 students. It encompasses eight reference schools that are spread across 25 campuses in France and beyond. At present, the Group offers 12 certified diplomas and has an alumni network of more than 45,000 graduates.

Quilvest first partnered with GEDH in November 2017 with IK joining in February 2020, having acquired a minority stake from Quilvest and Amin Khiari, Chairman and CEO of the Group. Through this combined partnership, GEDH has managed to execute on its buy-and-build plan through the: acquisition of schools with adjacent academic offerings; opening of 11 further campuses in France; accelerated roll-out of new programmes and strengthening of its organisational structure.

Amin Khiari, CEO of GEDH, commented: “Quilvest and IK have been valuable in accelerating our growth over the past few years. Most notably, they have helped us reinforce our positioning as a leading provider of higher education. We thank them for their support as it has allowed the Group to expand both geographically and in terms of academic offerings allowing us to serve a growing number of students. With continued enthusiasm and ambition, we look forward to partnering with FAPI’s team for the years ahead.”

Thomas Vatier, Partner at Quilvest Capital Partners, said: “Since our investment in 2017, we have had the pleasure of witnessing GEDH go from strength to strength. We have been impressed with their vision, know-how and drive to build a ‘best-in-class’ player in private higher education. Their accomplishments are a testament to the work from Amin and his team. We are highly confident in the successful pursuit of their journey.”

Thomas Grob, Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK Partnership Fund, added: “GEDH has grown significantly as part of our partnership; driven by both their expansion in geographical reach and continuous innovation with regards to the curriculum. This has further strengthened their position in the private higher education sector in France, which, when combined with their clear focus on operational excellence and the quality of their students’ experience, allows them to differentiate themselves amongst other players. GEDH is a solid business which benefits from strong pillars, making it well-positioned for future growth.”

Brahim Ammor, Managing Director at FAPI, said: “Since 2014, Amin and his team have built one of the leading providers in the private higher education segment in France with a remarkable growth trajectory. We are very excited to partner with GEDH to further support the expansion of the Group in France, enhance its digital profile and accelerate its international development in the coming years.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to legal and regulatory approvals.

For further questions, please contact:
Group EDH
Emmanuelle Baruch
E: e.baruch@groupe-edh.com

Quilvest Capital Partners
FTI Consulting
Mathilde Jean
T: +33 (0)1 47 03 69 54
E: mathilde.jean@fticonsulting.com

Five Arrows Principal Investments
Emma Rees
T: +44 (0) 7703 715 763
E: emma.rees@rothschildandco.com

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
T: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
E: vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com


James McFarlane
T: +44 (0) 7584 142665
E: jmcfarlane@maitland.co.uk / ik-maitland@maitland.co.uk

Categories: News


ACE Education acquires French fashion business school EIDM

  • Adds to ACE’s sports management, luxury hospitality management, arts and design verticals
  • Takes ACE to 30+ campuses and 5,000+ students in France and abroad
  • Next step in ACE and Oakley’s buy-and-build strategy

Oakley Capital (‘Oakley’), the pan-European private equity investor, is pleased to announce that portfolio company ACE Education Group (‘ACE’) has acquired EIDM, one of France’s leading Fashion Business & Styling schools.

Based in Paris, the fashion capital of the world, EIDM offers students a range of specialised programmes from Bachelor’s to Master’s, as well as recognised professional diplomas. The school enjoys strong growth, having quadrupled student enrolments over the last three years. EIDM’s unique network of partners and relationships across the industry enables students to pursue successful careers at home and internationally. Today, 85%(1) of EIDM students go on to secure a job in the industry after graduating, and EIDM alumni have worked at premier fashion houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana.

ACE is a diversified higher education group with over 30 campuses in France and abroad and over 5,000 students. The business operates under four brands: AMOS, the leading French sports management business school; ESBS, a sports management school based in Valencia, Spain; ESDAC, a leading French design school group; and CMH, a heritage international luxury hospitality & tourism school.

Oakley reinvested in the business in 2021 alongside Groupe Amaury and ACE’s founder Patrick Touati to benefit from the business’ strong future growth potential, from a rich pipeline of M&A opportunities, as well as from the significant strategic and commercial benefits Amaury can bring as a prominent stakeholder in the French sports industry.

The acquisition of EIDM will enable ACE to further diversify its business and train students in the business of Fashion and Luxury, a major industry in Europe with strong, long-term growth prospects.

ACE Education Group CEO Sylvestre Louis, said: “We are delighted to welcome EIDM to the ACE Education Group. There are many synergies with the other schools in the Group, particularly with our design school, ESDAC. It is also a real opportunity to support the growth of EIDM, which has increased its student population fourfold since 2018.”

Oakley Capital Founder and Managing Partner Peter Dubens said: “We’re pleased to see ACE deliver on its buy-and-build strategy as we further diversify and grow the business to become one of Europe’s leading higher education platforms. We continue to see strong demand for specialised higher education programmes, which ACE provides across its schools and campuses. Luxury & Fashion is an exciting vertical to add and neatly complements its existing specialisations such as arts & design.”

(1) In-house survey from 2018 to 2021

Categories: News