KKR Acquires a Majority Stake in EuroKids International


Investment in a leading Indian education services provider to support high-quality, holistic learning programs for future generations

MUMBAI, India–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 5, 2019– Global investment firm KKR and leading Indian education services provider EuroKids International Pvt. Ltd. (“EuroKids” or the “Company”) today announced that KKR has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in EuroKids franchise from the existing investor consortium led by Gaja Capital.

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EuroKids will continue to be managed by its team of experienced educators, administrators and management team led by Co-Founder & Group CEO Prajodh Rajan, who will also remain a shareholder in the Company.

KKR will work closely with EuroKids and its portfolio of brands to identify both organic and inorganic growth opportunities and ways to enhance offerings and practices. Areas of focus include tech-enabled/digital learning and tailored pedagogy to provide more students with access to a world-class, holistic education. Having acquired Kangaroo Kids and Billabong High franchise in 2017, EuroKids has a successful track record of mergers & acquisitions in the education services space, and looks to continue adding high-quality education brands to its portfolio.

EuroKids is one of India’s largest education services providers in the Pre-School and K-12 segments. Its portfolio of award-winning brands, which includes EuroKids, EuroKids DayCare, Kangaroo Kids, EuroSchool and Billabong International, serves more than 120,000 students from 1,115 Pre-Schools and 35 K-12 schools across five countries. Since the launch of its first Pre-School in 2001, EuroKids has built one of India’s most trusted and well-regarded education brands with a child-first ideology focused on safety and learning experiences backed by new-age curriculum that meets international standards and promotes holistic development in children. Earlier this year, EuroKids launched their EUNOIA Pre-School curriculum focused on Mindful practices like Attention, Resilience and Kindness.

Mr. Rajan said, “We are excited to build on our momentum and position our business for its next phase of growth alongside a firm of KKR’s caliber. Our mission is to provide Pre-School and K-12 students with a holistic educational foundation that will instill in them a love for learning that will continue throughout their academic career and give them the tools to succeed long-term. We are thrilled to receive investment and support from KKR which shares our vision, ambition and passion for education.”

Ajay Candade, Director at KKR, said, “The desire for high-quality educational services is at an all-time high in India. The country has over 125 million children in the two-to-six age range, as well as the largest K-12 population in the world at 320 million people. We are excited to support families looking to provide their children with a world-class, new-age learning environment. EuroKids is recognized as a true industry leader that provides innovative education solutions, and we are excited to work with Prajodh and the EuroKids team to accelerate the Company’s growth and advance its mission to bring the highest-quality education to students across India.”

Gopal Jain, Managing Partner of Gaja Capital, said, “We are extremely proud to have partnered with co-founders Prajodh Rajan and Vikas Phadnis, along with the entire management team since our investment in 2013 to support a period of tremendous growth and development for EuroKids. This is a world-class organization – and one of India’s most well-regarded education brands – which is poised to expand rapidly in the coming years.”

KKR has a strong track record and expertise in the education space, including through its former investments in Cognita Schools, a UK-based global private schools group, Weld North Education, a platform operator of digital and SaaS educational solutions, and Kindercare, a US-based operator of early-education and child care education facilities.

KKR makes its investment from its Asian Fund III. Further terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

EY-Parthenon, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Barclays and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as advisors to KKR. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to the Company and the Sellers, and Nishith Desai & Associates being the legal advisor to the Company, and Pioneer Legal being the legal advisor to Gaja Capital.

About EuroKids International

EuroKids International is India’s leading education services company in the Early Childhood and K-12 education space, focused at delivering the ‘Joy of Learning’ by enhancing its pedagogy and consistently building a holistic, nurturing and secure learning environment for children. Over the last 18 years, EuroKids International has played an active role in the evolution of the education landscape with its portfolio of brands committed to deliver a robust foundation for future generations. EuroKids International’s portfolio of brands includes EuroKids, EuroKids DayCare, Kangaroo Kids, EuroSchool & Billabong International spread across 350+ cities and five countries. The group is also committed to creating long-term sustainable entrepreneurial opportunities especially for women entrepreneurs and has enabled employment of over 10,000 individuals across the country. Having bagged multiple prestigious awards in the education segment including Best Education Brands, 2018, EuroKids is constantly REINVENTING EDUCATION in the country. For more information on EuroKids International, please visit www.eurokidsgroup.com.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About Gaja Capital

Gaja Capital is one of India’s leading independent private equity firms providing growth capital to mid-market companies. Founded in 2004, Gaja Capital’s team of sector and functional specialists combine investing, entrepreneurial and operating experience to deliver tangible value beyond capital. For more information on Gaja Capital, please visit http://www.gajacapital.com.

Source: KKR

For EuroKids International
Amit Yadav

KKR Asia Pacific
Anita Davis
+852 3602-7335

KKR Americas
Kristi Huller / Cara Major
+1 212-750-8300

Sard Verbinnen & Co (for KKR Asia Pacific)
Miles Radcliffe-Trenner
+852 3842-2200

Edelman (for KKR India)
Siddharth Panicker

For Gaja Capital
Gopal Jain
+91-22-2421 2280

Categories: News


CVC Fund VII to invest in Multiversity, owner of Italian online university Pegaso

Founder Danilo Iervolino will retain a 50% stake in the company and continue as chairman and CEO

CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”) announces that CVC Fund VII has agreed to acquire 50% of Multiversity, the owner of Italy’s largest online university Universitá Telematica Pegaso (“Pegaso”), as well as Mercatorum University. Multiversity and Pegaso founder Danilo Iervolino will retain a 50% stake in the company and continue as chairman and CEO.

Founded in 2006, Pegaso is the largest online university in Italy, offering courses to c. 80,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students across more than 70 exam venues. Pegaso’s innovative online platform offers a range of programs for the underserved further education market, including bachelor and master degrees, post-graduate masters and single courses.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity for CVC Fund VII to invest in Pegaso. The online education sector is a rapidly growing global market that provides students the opportunity to pursue individual study paths and work training services. Many students do not have the opportunity to access further education via traditional routes so Pegaso is helping to meet an important and growing social need.” Explains Andrea Ferrante, Managing Director of CVC.

“The acquisition of Pegaso further strengthens CVC’s presence in Italy and in European higher education, following CVC Fund VII’s recent investment in Spain’s leading private university, Alfonso X el Sabio (“UAX”) of Villanueva de la Caada.

“We look forward to working closely with the team, to build on their achievements, to continue improving Pegaso and Mercatorum’s quality proposition and to accelerate the business’ investment plans.”

Danilo Iervolino, CEO and founder of Multiversity, comments: “We are very proud of the success achieved by Pegaso University so far. We believe that now is the time for us to partner with a high-profile international firm, to support our growth strategy for Italy and international markets. We believe that in CVC Capital Partners we have found the perfect partner to help us to deliver on our mission. There remain many untapped markets that we want to capitalise on and CVC’s sector expertise and global network will be invaluable to us as we enter our next phase of growth.”

CVC was assisted by Legance, Bain & Company, PwC Advisory and Facchini, Rossi e Michelutti.

Multiversity was supported by Studio Bifolco & Associati, EY Advisory – M&A and Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners.

Categories: News


Funds advised by CVC Capital Partners lead consortium to acquire significant minority stake in GEMS Education

Consortium will acquire approximately 30% stake in world’s largest provider of private K-12 education by revenue

Funds advised by CVC Capital Partners (“CVC Funds”) have led a consortium (the “CVC Consortium”) which has agreed to acquire a significant minority stake in GEMS Education, the world’s largest provider of private K-12 education by revenue.

Upon completion of the transaction, the CVC Consortium will acquire approximately a 30% stake in the company from the existing shareholders. Concurrently, GEMS Education has launched a refinancing programme (expected to include loans and bonds), details of which will be announced in due course. Both transactions are anticipated to close by the end of July 2019.

The transaction sees the successful exit by a consortium led by Fajr Capital Limited including Tactical Opportunities funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) and Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company B.S.C. (“Mumtalakat”), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain, which acquired a significant minority stake in GEMS Education in 2014. Existing minority investor Khazanah Nasional Berhad, a sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, which invested in January 2018, will retain its 3% stake in GEMS Education.

Dino Varkey, CEO, GEMS Education, said: “GEMS Education strives to improve every part of the education journey for both students and parents. Aided by our investors, the last five years have seen consistent and continued improvements across GEMS Education schools, most significantly with our excellent inspection outcomes, year on year increases in student examination results, and our safeguarding and inclusion work with students, schools and parents. We repaid our inaugural Sukuk in November 2018 and are excited to re-engage with the international capital markets, including securing our inaugural credit ratings, as we launch our refinancing.

“Investment by the CVC Funds marks the third time we have successfully collaborated with global institutional investors. As we approach our 60th anniversary, we look forward to developing the company further. This is aligned with our vision of expanding the business into new markets and continuing our long history of growth. We would like to thank our exceptional team for their hard work to get us here, especially Riz Ahmed and Jake Barnard and the broader management team.”

Sunny Varkey, Founder, GEMS Education, said: “We are delighted to welcome CVC as our new partners, as we continue our mission of raising the benchmark for quality education and shaping the future of learning for tomorrow. We are also grateful to Fajr Capital, Blackstone, and Mumtalakat for their contributions to the business over the past five years. Sixty years on from opening our first school, I believe more than ever that ‘whatever the question, education is the answer.’ We are excited that CVC shares our passion for this mission, and our belief in our potential to continue to enhance quality education in our growing school portfolio.”

Jan Reinier Voûte, Partner and Co-Head of CVC Strategic Opportunities, said: “We are excited to embark on our partnership with GEMS Education, the world’s leading education provider by revenue. GEMS is a perfect fit for our Strategic Opportunities strategy which is ideally positioned to support value creation in long term partnership investments. We look forward to supporting GEMS to deliver their vision of expanding their footprint.”

This investment is made from CVC’s Strategic Opportunities Platform, which was established in 2014 in response to growing demand from institutional investors to be able to invest for the long term in stable, high-quality businesses. Since the strategy was created, nearly €4 billion of equity capital has been committed to seven investments.

Özgür Önder, Managing Director and a member of CVC’s Eastern Europe & Middle East team, said: “We are very excited about CVC Funds’ first major investment in the GCC region, where we see significant growth opportunities. GEMS Education is a world leader in education and we look forward to working with Sunny Varkey and Dino Varkey and their excellent management team to further enhance and expand their offering.”

Iqbal Khan, CEO of Fajr Capital, Andrea Valeri, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone, and Mahmood H. Alkooheji, CEO of Mumtalakat, jointly issued the following statement: “We invested in GEMS Education as a consortium because we believed in the company’s ability to address the substantial and growing demand for quality education across emerging markets. We are all very pleased with the progress GEMS Education has made since our investment – with the company building 16 new schools, entering into new markets through organic and inorganic expansion, strengthening corporate governance, enhancing its capital structure, and improving overall academic excellence. The sale of our stake in GEMS Education marks the end of a very successful partnership and also highlights the positive role strategic financial investors can play to help realise the potential of high-growth businesses in the Middle East. We wish Sunny, Dino, the Varkey family, CVC, Khazanah, and everyone at GEMS Education all the best as the company continues to advance its mission to put quality education within the reach of every child.”

GEMS Education has grown from a single school started by a family of teachers in 1959 to become the world’s largest provider of private K-12 education by revenue. As at 28 February 2019, GEMS Education owned and operated 49 schools in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Since Gamma invested in 2014, GEMS Education has invested more than USD 1.0 billion in enhancing and expanding its offering.

Concurrently with the CVC Consortium’s transaction, GEMS Education will assume ownership of a further 14 private schools in Europe, through the acquisition of Bellevue Education, a leading school group headquartered in the UK.

Furthermore, GEMS Education recently invested in a portfolio of 14 schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and four schools in Egypt through joint ventures with Hassana, the Saudi Arabia Pension Fund, and EFG Hermes respectively.

The Varkey Group, the founding shareholder of GEMS Education, will continue to independently operate schools under the GEMS Education and other brands in the United States, France, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Varkey Family, in combination, will remain as the largest shareholders in GEMS Education once the transaction has completed.

Categories: News


EQT Credit completes unitranche financing to support Oakley Capital’s acquisition of Seagull and Videotel


EQT Credit completes unitranche financing to support Oakley Capital’s acquisition of Seagull and Videotel

EQT Credit, through its Direct Lending investment strategy, is pleased to announce that it is the sole lender of USD 130 million drawn committed senior facilities to support Oakley Capital’s (“Oakley”) investment in Seagull and Videotel (together, “the Company”).

The Company is a leading provider of e-learning solutions to the maritime sector globally, with a geographically diversified portfolio covering key international maritime transport hubs.

Paul Johnson, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Credit, commented: “The combination of Seagull and Videotel creates a leading player in the regulated maritime training market. EQT Credit looks forward to supporting the Company and its management team in its future development, as the Company expands its product offering, invests in new areas of content and looks towards further consolidation in the industry.”

Andrew Cleland-Bogle, Managing Director at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Credit, added: “EQT Credit is proud to partner again with Oakley on this transaction. We would like to thank EQT’s Industrial Advisors who provided key support and insight to the EQT Credit deal team throughout the due diligence process and confirmed our views on the Company’s exceptional quality offering.”

Paul Johnson, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Credit, +44 203 372 9424
Andrew Cleland-Bogle, Managing Director at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Credit, +44 208 432 5420
EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a leading investment firm with more than EUR 61 billion in raised capital across 29 funds and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About EQT Credit
EQT Credit invests through three complementary strategies: Senior Debt, Direct Lending, and Special Situations. Since inception, EQT Credit has raised over EUR 7 billion of capital and invested in over 160 companies. EQT Credit’s Direct Lending strategy seeks to provide flexible, long-term debt solutions to support European businesses, across a wide range of sectors. These businesses include privately-owned companies seeking growth capital as well as those that are the subject of private equity-led acquisitions or refinancings.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com/Investment-Strategies/Credit 

Categories: News


EURAZEO Capital and Sommet Education finalize the acquisition of Ducasse Education



Paris, June 6,2019–Eurazeo capital is pleased to announce the acquisition of a 51% stake in Ducasse Education, a major player in culinary arts and pastry training, by the world-renowned hospitality management education group, Sommet Education.

Since its creation in 1999, Ducasse Education has developed and delivered un rivalled culinary and pastry expertise through a wide array of initial and professional development training programs, as well as courses for career changers. With three schools in France and international partnerships(the Philippines and soon the United Arab Emirates), the group boasts a multitude of innovative, methodological and technical expertise. Ducasse Education welcomes over 800 students and 3,000 apprentices at its three French campuses.

Sommet Education, a major higher education player, was built around Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, two hospitality management institutions acquired by Eurazeo in 2016. With 5,000 students from over 100 countries, the group cultivates the global hospitality leaders of tomorrow. Located in Switzerland, Sommet Education is truly unique, as it is the only hospitality management group with two institutions ranked in the top four hospitality schools worldwide and the top three by employer reputation(QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019).

In line with its strategy to accompany the long-term development of its investments, Eurazeo Capital deploys all the financial, technical and human resources at its disposal to accelerate Sommet Education’s development and transformation. Since 2016, Eurazeo has notably helped to strengthen and internationalize the management team,while enabling the group to invest substantially in its campuses and tools to achieve its goal: create a global education leader in hospitality, gastronomy and services.

The acquisition of Ducasse Education demonstrates Sommet Education’s ability to combine premium educational brands. It will enable the group to propose more comprehensive and balanced training paths combining both long and short formats, and to expandfurther into professional development. Ducasse Education will benefit from Sommet Education’s structures, notably for the recruitment of new students, as well as Eurazeo’s expertise in international development, CSR and digitalization.

Marc Frappier,Head of Eurazeo Capital said: “With this investment decision and Eurazeo Capital’s support, Sommet Education will continue to develop, expanding its catalogue of training courses and becominga major player in hospitality and gastronomy education.”Benoit-Etienne Domenget, Chairman of Sommet Education, added: “This acquisition fits perfectly with our desire to strengthen our presence in the culinary arts, a sector which, we have noted, is of significant interest to the general public. We’re looking forward to working closely with the Ducasse Education teams and pooling our knowhow and expertise.”

MAITLAND/amoDAVID STURKENE-mail: dsturken@maitland.co.ukTel.: +44 (0) 7990 595 913For more information, please visit the Group’s website: www.eurazeo.comFollow us on Twitter,LinkedIn, andYouTube



CAROLINE COHEN Head of Investor Relations ccohen@eurazeo.comTel.: +33 (0)1 44 15 16 76

VIRGINIE CHRISTNACHT Head of Communicationsvchristnacht@eurazeo.comTel.: +33 1 44 15 7644 ***

About Eurazeo

Eurazeo is a leading global investment company, with a diversified portfolio of €17 billion in assets under management, including nearly €11 billion from third parties, invested in over 300 companies. With its considerable private equity, real estate, private debt and fund of funds expertise, Eurazeo accompanies companies of all sizes, supporting their development through the commitment of its 235 professionals and by offering deep sector expertise, a gateway to global markets, and a responsible and stable foothold for transformational growth. Its solid institutional and family shareholder base, robust financial structure free of structural debt, and flexible investment horizon enable Eurazeo to support its companies over the long term.

Eurazeo has offices in Paris, New York, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, London, Luxembourg, Frankfurt and Madrid.

Eurazeo is listed on Euronext Paris.oISIN: FR0000121121 -Bloomberg: RF FP -Reuters: EURA.PA

About Sommet Education

Known for excellence in cultivating the hospitality leaders of tomorrow, Sommet Education encompasses a distinguished group of institutions united by a fundamental belief in the importance of academic rigor, skills-based learning and a dynamic multicultural outlook. Sommet Education institutions Glion and Les Roches serve students from more than 100 countries, preparing them to be immediately effective in their professions –wherever in the world these may be –while delivering exceptional consumer experiences.

Sommet Education is part of Eurazeo, one of the leading listed investment companies in Europe.

For more information,visitwww.sommet-education.com.

Categories: News


OpenSesame Raises $28 Million in Growth Equity Led by FTV Capital

FTV Capital

elearning Leader Expands Machine Learning Curation to Revolutionize How Employees are Trained

Portland, Oregon — OpenSesame, the elearning innovator providing the world’s most comprehensive online catalog of curated employee training courses, today announced it raised a $28 million growth equity round led by FTV Capital. OpenSesame will use the proceeds to continue enhancing its machine learning-driven curation tools, expand its course offerings, and scale its sales and marketing functions to serve businesses worldwide. This funding round includes participation from existing investors including Altos Ventures. As part of the transaction, FTV partner Chris Winship will join the OpenSesame board of directors.

As workforce training rapidly shifts from classroom to online delivery, OpenSesame is disrupting the standard elearning model by curating the most comprehensive catalog of over 20,000 elearning courses from hundreds of the world’s top publishers and helping companies ensure the success of their training programs. OpenSesame helps businesses around the world find courses, map them to core competencies, sync them with a company’s learning management system (LMS) to increase utilization and improve learning & development (L&D) programs.  OpenSesame has flexible buying options to meet every training need, and the technology platform is simple to integrate and use. Leveraging machine learning and expert advisors, OpenSesame helps curate the best variety of courses for evolving enterprise training requirements, driving employee engagement and increasing elearning utilization. OpenSesame serves a wide range of clients, including governments and Global 2000 companies in services, manufacturing, technology, and highly regulated industries such as financial services and health care.

“Our goal is to make elearning accessible, convenient, and meaningful to all EnerSys employees.” said Drew Krajewski, director of global training & development for EnerSys, a Fortune 1000 OpenSesame customer. “Actual customer service of this caliber is a rarity, and OpenSesame does it right. We don’t consider OpenSesame a vendor. They’re our partner.”

“Based on FTV Capital’s long and successful enterprise SaaS investment track record, we are excited to have them lead our Series C funding,” said Don Spear, CEO of OpenSesame. “This investment coupled with their extensive network of strategic advisors will help OpenSesame to continue to rapidly grow and innovate to meet the constantly evolving training needs of our customers as they prepare their employees for the future of work.”

“Enterprises spend over $30 billion annually on external learning content and programs to maintain a highly skilled, competitive workforce, as well as to comply with complex regulatory requirements,” said Chris Winship, FTV Capital partner. “OpenSesame is capitalizing on key trends that are transforming the workplace, including a more mobile workforce, evolving millennial preferences and behaviors, and the rapid adoption of enabling technologies such as cloud and collaboration. We are extremely impressed with the OpenSesame management team, the market leading solution they have built and their outstanding growth trajectory, and we are excited to join forces in this next phase of growth.”

About OpenSesame

OpenSesame helps develop the world’s most productive and admired workforces. With the most comprehensive catalog of elearning courses from the world’s top publishers, we are here to help you every step of the way, from finding courses, mapping them to your core competencies, syncing them with your LMS to increasing utilization and improving your L&D programs. Not only will you have the flexibility of multiple purchasing options from OpenSesame, you’ll find it simple to use and administer your e-learning courses. To learn more, visit www.opensesame.com.

About FTV Capital

FTV Capital is a growth equity investment firm that has raised over $2.7 billion to invest in high-growth companies offering a range of innovative solutions in three sectors: enterprise technology & services, financial services and payments & transaction processing. FTV’s experienced team leverages its domain expertise and proven track record in each of these sectors to help motivated management teams accelerate growth. FTV also provides companies with access to its Global Partner Network®, a group of the world’s leading enterprises and executives who have helped FTV portfolio companies for two decades. Founded in 1998, FTV Capital has invested in 108 portfolio companies. FTV has offices in San Francisco and New York. For more information, visit www.ftvcapital.com.

Categories: News


Oakley Capital acquires leading maritime e-learning businesses Videotel and Seagull


Oakley Capital (“Oakley”) is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the management teams of SG MidCo AS (“Seagull”), and Videotel Marine Asia Limited and Super Dragon Limited (collectively “Videotel”), to acquire majority stakes in the businesses from their current shareholders, Herkules Private Equity Fund IV, and KVH Industries, respectively.

Over the past 40 years, Videotel and Seagull have established themselves as the best-in-class providers of e-learning to the maritime sector globally. Every year they each provide over 10,000 ships and installations with comprehensive and up-to-date compliance, risk and safety training that ensures adherence to International Maritime Organisation requirements. In 2018, the two companies collectively generated $50 million of revenue.

The digital transformation taking place in the shipping industry, as well as the increasingly complex regulatory framework, offers a significant opportunity for e-Learning providers. The management teams of Seagull and Videotel believe that this opportunity can be grasped most effectively by working together as a combined group. With both parties able to collaborate and share knowledge and resources, the two businesses will be able to provide their respective customers with a greater level of product and services.

Apart from an enhanced investment plan, there will be no immediate operational changes in either company except that Oscar Johansen, Chairman and Founder of Seagull, will take up the role of President of the combined group. Roger Ringstad and Raal Harris will continue to lead Seagull and Videotel, respectively.

This transaction continues Oakley’s successful track record of investing in the maritime and education sectors. Oakley previously invested in Headland Media, a provider of media and entertainment services to the offshore and shipping sectors, while its current investments include North Sails, the largest sail maker in the world; Inspired, one of the leading global premium schools groups; Career Partner Group, the fast-growing private university in Germany; Schülerhilfe, Europe’s largest after-school tutoring business; and AMOS, one of the leading international business schools in France.

Peter Dubens, Managing Partner of Oakley Capital commented:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the management teams of Seagull and Videotel, two companies we have admired for many years. Both teams are exactly the type of highly-ambitious professionals we continually seek to back. We look forward to supporting them in their plans to invest in new content and technology solutions based on the wealth of internal expertise which can now be shared across the group.”

As the shipping industry continues to make advancements in digitalisation, we see significant opportunities to further enhance the breadth and depth of products and services we offer our clients. In Videotel and Oakley we believe that we have the perfect partners to support us on that journey.
Roger Ringstad
Managing Director of Seagull

Categories: News


Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio and CVC Fund VII team up to create new leader in education

Business will continue to be led by Jesús Núñez, founder and president of UAX, with new focus on increasing international reach

The Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (UAX), one of the principal private education institutions in Spain and the oldest in its field, has announced today its partnership with the investment advisory firm CVC to build a new international leader in the higher education sector.

Established in 1994, UAX has a proven track record of success and offers a wide array of higher education options: 49 degree courses and 46 postgraduate and master programmes. The university specialises in academic development with a particular focus on the education of professionals destined for the corporate world, thanks to its 8,800 agreements with companies, institutions, associations and individuals. It currently has 8,500 students enrolled and an alumni community of over 37,000 graduates. UAX is recognised for its healthcare training with three healthcare centres, a veterinary hospital that is renowned Europe-wide, an innovative Virtual Simulation Hospital and a premium campus spanning over 1 million square metres.

CVC will support the founding team led by Jesús Núñez, president of the university, to ensure continued growth in Spain and internationally, both on campus and online. The five-year plan includes both organic and inorganic growth. Organic growth will be driven by expanding the current offering, growing the number of online students and strengthening its professional training.

The higher education sector is currently facing several challenges, including greater international competition, the digitalisation of courses, and new professional skills. To address these challenges, the founders of UAX have sought a partner that will drive growth while continuing to ensure the highest standards of quality for students, faculty and researchers.

CVC Fund VII will become an indirect shareholder of UAX, providing the required financial resources for the business, while current shareholders will remain invested. CVC will bring to bear its international reach and industry links.

CVC Funds have been investing in Spain since 1997, primarily in healthcare, energy and infrastructure. CVC Funds are currently invested in QA Education, the UK’s leading business and IT training company.

The closing is expected once all relevant regulatory and competition authorisations have been secured.

Categories: News


Cinven to acquire INSEEC U.


Investment in a leading European private higher education group

International private equity firm, Cinven, today announces that it has agreed the acquisition of INSEEC U. (‘the Group’), a leading European institution of private higher education and research. The consideration is not disclosed.

Founded in 1975 in Bordeaux, France, today INSEEC U. operates 16 schools worldwide with campuses across France, the UK, the US, China, Switzerland and Monaco, as well as online education programmes. INSEEC U. offers degrees and accreditation programmes principally in Management & Business, Engineering, Communications & Marketing and Political Science, providing courses for approx. 25,000 students annually. Over the past few years, INSEEC U. has become the first cross-disciplinary education platform in France, combining cutting-edge research, agile teaching, innovative teaching methods and CSR values, in order to provide strong and enduring employability to its students.

Having focused on the education subsector for some time, based on its attractive market dynamics, Cinven’s Business Services Sector team worked closely with its French Regional team to identify INSEEC U. as a compelling investment opportunity, given:

  • The European higher education market represents a growing and non-cyclical market, driven by the increasing numbers of students enrolling in higher education;
  • The private sector is gaining share within higher education, due to attractive employability prospects for graduates; and it has material scope for consolidation;
  • The Group has proven its ability to deliver strong organic growth across the economic cycle supported by the quality of its courses in attractive disciplines, strong student employment outcomes, its strong brand positioning and product innovation;
  • INSEEC U. has successfully developed its online education programmes, which have benefitted from investment in technology supported by the Group’s scale advantage, with further scope for significant growth;
  • INSEEC U. is well positioned to continue its consolidation of the highly fragmented private higher education market, both in France where it is already the market leader and internationally; and
  • INSEEC U. is led by a strong management team with a proven track record of developing the Group successfully over the long-term.

Bpifrance, the French government agency, has been a minority investor in INSEEC U. since 2016 and is fully committed to continue supporting the development of the business and the private higher education sector in the years ahead.

Rory Neeson, Partner at Cinven, said:

“Our Business Services Sector team has been focused on investment prospects in education for some time given the attractive trends we see in this sector. INSEEC U. represents an excellent opportunity given its strong student outcomes, market-leading position, and the scale and professionalism of its operations. In particular, INSEEC U. ranks as a leader across its key disciplines and is highly regarded by students and recruiters for both the quality of its teaching and its students’ post-graduation employability. We look forward to working with the highly talented management team, led by Catherine Lespine, to further grow the business in France and internationally, both organically and through acquisition.”

Pierre Estrade, Partner at Cinven, added:

“INSEEC U. operates in a highly attractive, scalable and resilient market, with strong underlying macro trends expected to continue driving growth, particularly across Europe. The Cinven team is highly experienced at growing businesses internationally as well as executing successful buy and build strategies and we look forward to working with the team at INSEEC U., led by Catherine Lespine, to achieve this.”

Nicolas Paulmier, Partner at Cinven added:

“In this fast changing world, higher and continuous education is a key enabler for societies to evolve. Through its size and agility, Inseec U is set to become a major European player in higher education.”

Catherine Lespine, Chief Executive Officer of INSEEC U., commented:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Cinven, whose strategy for our business is fully aligned with the vision the INSEEC U. senior management team has for the Group. We look forward to working together: continuing INSEEC U’s successful growth trajectory and benefitting from Cinven’s international footprint and significant experience of supporting growth both organically and through consolidation.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and antitrust approvals.

Advisors to Cinven on the transaction included: Messier Maris et Associés and Financière de Courcelles (M&A), Eight Advisory (Financial), Freshfields (Legal), TAJ (Tax), BCG and PMSI (Commercial)

Advisors to the Group and Shareholders on the transaction included: Rothschild (M&A), PwC (Financial), Linklaters (Legal, Tax), TAJ (Legal), LEK (Commercial), Fidufrance (Management)

Categories: News


ARDIAN acquires a majority stake in STUDY GROUP, the leading international education provider in the UK, Australia and North America


London, February 21, 2019 – Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, announces it has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Study Group, the leading provider of international education in the UK and Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America, from Providence Equity Partners, a premier global asset management firm.

Each year, Study Group supports around 30,000 students from 142 countries on campuses spread across three continents. Study Group prepares international students, who wish to enter leading English-speaking universities, through educational courses that provide them with the academic, language and learning skills needed to succeed. Study Group is a market leader in the UK and in Australia, and partners with 48 prestigious universities.

A world leader, Study Group has the highest number of partner universities which fall within the Global Top 200 university ranking of the market. The International Education pathway market has grown by 15% p.a. in volume historically and is forecast to continue to grow double-digit in the years to come.

David Leigh, the Chairman of Study Group, commented: “It has been a great privilege to lead the excellent team at Study Group over the past six years. Led by CEO Emma Lancaster, the organisation is poised to continue its strong growth under new ownership, providing excellent outcomes for students via close partnerships with many of the world’s best universities.”

Olivier Personnaz, Managing Director in Ardian Buyout team added: “We are proud to invest in Study Group for the next phase of its development. The ambition of the management team, the quality of their long-term university partner relationships and the strength of its growth serve as proof of Study Group’s excellence. Alongside the management team, we will work to drive further growth and build on the Group’s presence in key geographies through strategic acquisitions. Through our investment, more students will be able to realize their academic potential at leading international universities.”

Dany Rammal, Managing Director at Providence Equity, said: “We are pleased to have partnered with Study Group’s strong management team to improve academic outcomes for students around the world, grow the number of University Partners from 16 in 2010 to 48 today, and execute a number of strategic and operational efforts that position the Company well for its next phase of growth. We wish the team every success going forward.”

This acquisition remains subject to the authorization from FIRB in Australia.


Study Group is a leading provider of international education. With 48 university partners around the world, it enables students to succeed at degree level, by helping them develop the necessary study and language skills to which they may not have had access in their local education systems. Last year, around 30,000 students from 142 countries chose Study Group to provide them with life-changing learning experiences.


Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$90bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base.
Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world.
Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 550 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of around 800 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.


Providence is a premier global asset management firm with approximately $40 billion in aggregate capital commitments. Providence pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 180 companies and has become a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI, and also has offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit www.provequity.com


Ardian: Olivier Personnaz, Bruno Ladrière, Edward Little, Benjamin Witcher, Michael Van Cauwenberge
Commercial Due Diligence: OC&C – Pedro Sanches, Zeeshan Ashraf
Financial Due Diligence: EY – Matt Harvey, Mark Griffiths
Tax: EY – Karen Kirkwood, Michael Atkinson, Sachika Yamawaki
Corporate: Allen & Overy – Karan Dinamani, Hayley Elsley, William Hayward
Financing: Allen & Overy – Robin Harvey, Sarbajeet Nag, Alex Bond


Tel: +44 207 3675 240
Katie Shuff
Tel: +44 (0)7958 441840
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Conrad Harrington
Tel: +44 207 4671 050

Categories: News