Emerging markets-focused private equity firm Abraaj Group is in discussions to acquire Middlesex University‘s overseas campus in Dubai, in a deal that could be worth around $55 million to $70 million, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
In June, Abraaj was chosen by shareholders of the university campus, which is owned by individual investors in the United Arab Emirates and operated by London’s Middlesex University, as preferred bidder and invited to conduct due diligence, one source said.
Private universities in Dubai are beginning to attract the attention of private equity players. Investors in recent years have acquired schools, a fast growing sector amid a wealthy and growing population.
Dubai-based Abraaj declined to comment when contacted by Reuters, while Middlesex University Dubai did not respond to emails requesting comment.
The Dubai campus opened in 2005 and has more than 2,500 students, offering a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, according to its website.
Middlesex University Dubai’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were about $6.8 million last year, the sources said.