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Permira to acquire majority stake in EF Education’s kids and teens unit
Posted on Wednesday, 29 July 2020 08:48
Private equity group Permira is taking a majority stake in the Chinese EF Kids & Teens business of Switzerland-based English-language school operator EF Education First.
The Shanghai-based vendor will retain a significant ownership in the division and remains invested in its continued success.
While no financial terms were disclosed, the Financial Times was first to cite a person familiar with the matter as saying the deal was worth around USD 1.50 billion.
Permira has picked up a 60.0 per cent stake in EF Education’s unit, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The strategic partnership will combine the seller’s market leadership with Permira’s expertise and resources to accelerate EF Kids & Teens growth.
Plans include expanding its school network, investing heavily in academic programmes and delivering more innovations such as the Double Wing 1:1 and group online hybrid learning system, which combines the best of in-classroom and Internet-based education.
The deal remains subject to the usual raft of conditions.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, the Financial Times said the value represents a discount to the original reported asking price of USD 2.00 billion, or more.
The news comes as schools close around the world in a bid to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and have been forced to home school, most of which takes place online.
EF Education supplies English-language learning for children in Switzerland, China and Indonesia.
The company’s EF Kids & Teens division operates 288 schools in 62 Chinese cites and a further 79 facilities in Indonesia.
In April, Bloomberg reported that buyout groups have been circling the business for months but the coronavirus pandemic halted talks.
The sale of a stake in EF Education’s Chinese division has been rumoured since October 2019, with private equity firms such as Hillhouse Capital Management and Warburg Pincus initiating bids.
© Zephus Ltd