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Providence planning EUR 2.5bn disposal of Galileo: Reuters
Posted on Friday, 14 February 2020 09:24
Private equity group Providence is working on a sale of French private education business Galileo Global Education that could fetch EUR 2.50 billion, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

According to these sources, the buyout firm has hired Goldman Sachs and Rothschild to sound out potential bidders with a wide range of family offices, sovereign wealth funds and infrastructure investors among those expected to be interested.

KKR, EQT, CVC Capital Partners and PC Partners have all been named by the insiders as possible suitors.

Other potential acquirors could include a consortium of Wendel Group and Singapore’s GIC, two people observed, while Ardian is teaming up with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to make a joint offer.

In addition, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Cassie de Depot et placement du Quebec are also said to be interested.

Galileo claims to be one of the world’s most promising higher education providers in the areas of creativity, arts and culture, offering schools that specialise in applied arts, fashion, design and digital and medicine.

It has 42 colleges on its books with more than 40 campuses in ten countries worldwide, enrolling around 100,000 students.

The company runs the Paris School of Business, Cours Florent and Atelier de Sèvres in France, Instituto de Estudios Universitarios in Mexico and Macromedia University in Germany, to name a few.

Providence is expecting to launch the auction process as soon as this month and advisors would like an outcome to be made by summer 2020, the people noted.

One of the sources said Galileo has earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of between EUR 130.00 million and EUR 140.00 million and is valued at nearly 20.0x its core earnings.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows that should this deal go ahead it would be the largest signed off in the educational services sector globally since Laureate Education delisted from Nasdaq after a group of investors, including members of its management team, paid USD 3.82 billion in 2007.

Last year, 648 deals were announced in the industry, the biggest of which involved BGH Capital buying Australia’s Navitas for AUD 2.31 billion (USD 1.55 billion).

© Zephus Ltd