Apax Partners has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Laureate International Universities France SAS, a French holding company that is comprised of five educational institutions. They include École Supérieure du Commerce Extérieur, Institut Français de Gestion, European Business School, École Centrale d’Electronique and Centre d’Études Politiques et de la Communication. Bpifrance is coinvesting in the deal and will have 10 percent. Laureate Education Inc was the seller. Rothschild & Cie acted advised to Laureate Education while Gide Loyrette Nouel acted as their legal advisor. Lazard provided financial to Apax Partners, while Linklaters was their attorney.
Correction: A prior version of this story said that Apax acquired control of Laureate Education. It did not. Apax acquired a controlling stake in Laureate International Universities France SAS from Laureate Education. The story has been corrected. The headline has also been changed to show that the investor is Apax France, the private equity firm that invests in French speaking countries.
BALTIMORE, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Laureate Education, Inc., the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions, today announced that it has signed an agreement for the transfer of control of Laureate International Universities France SAS (‘LIUF’), a French holding entity, to Apax Partners, a leading private equity firm in French-speaking European countries. Bpifrance, the investment vehicle of the French state, will co-invest alongside Apax Partners and hold around 10% of the entity. The closing of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the French anti-trust Authority, is expected before the end of June 2016.
LIUF comprises five institutions with a total student population of approximately 7,500:
• École Supérieure du Commerce Extérieur (ESCE)
• Institut Français de Gestion (IFG)
• European Business School (EBS)
• École Centrale d’Electronique (ECE)
• Centre d’Études Politiques et de la Communication (CEPC).
Laureate’s investment in and support of these institutions have actively contributed to their development, helping them to obtain both national and international recognition for being among the best management and engineering institutions in Europe.
Apax Partners is an investment fund that has made private higher education a priority within its services sector. Apax Partners invested in Groupe INSEEC in 2013 and with this transaction adds a new premium set of institutions, making it a leader in the field of private higher education in France. Each of the additional institutions will continue to operate with their own unique high quality education and curricula, while benefitting from a larger network of institutions in the same country.
Altogether, the combined group will comprise 17 schools, 20,000 students, and more than 250 foreign-partner universities. These institutions offer a large array of programs at the Bachelors to Doctorates levels in management, digital communication, and engineering. The total number of faculty include 300 permanent members of which 160 are researchers.
The two parties look forward to a smooth transition and the completion of the transfer in a timely fashion.
Douglas Becker, Chairman, CEO and founder of Laureate, declared: “Laureate is proud to have supported the institutions EBS, ESCE, IFG, CEPC and ECE over the past years. We believe that these institutions are well positioned to educate and prepare students for strong and successful careers in their fields. Thanks to its strong experience in the higher education sector inFrance, Apax Partners is ideally suited to support these institutions and we are confident that they will continue to offer students excellent educational and professional opportunities.”
Bertrand Pivin, Partner at Apax Partners, added: “These five reputable institutions offer higher education in areas which will complement programs already offered by the INSEEC Group. We have the ambition to become the undisputed French leader in private higher education. We will pursue the development of academic excellence and invest notably in online courses and digital content to offer our students constantly updated curricula and to help them secure attractive career opportunities.”
José Gonzalo, Managing Director at bpifrance, declared: “We are proud to support Apax Partners at a key step in the pursuit to expand beyond the existing INSEEC Group institutions. LIUF’s acquisition reinforces the combined group’s capacity to develop further its ambitious education projects. This investment illustrates bpifrance’s support to economic sectors with strong societal stakes such as education.”
Rothschild & Cie acted as exclusive financial advisor to Laureate Education, Inc., while Gide Loyrette Nouel acted as legal advisor. Lazard acted as financial advisor to Apax Partners, while Linklaters acted as legal advisors.
About Laureate Education, Inc.
Laureate Education, Inc. is the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions, with more than one million students enrolled across more than 80 institutions in 28 countries at more than 200 campuses and online. Laureate offers high-quality, career-oriented undergraduate, graduate and specialized degree programs in a wide range of academic disciplines including architecture, business, design, education, engineering, health sciences, medicine, law, and hospitality management. Laureate believes society is best served when its students, professors and employees use their collective skills and experiences to create positive and enduring change. This commitment is expressed through the company’s philosophy of being ‘Here for Good’ and is represented by its status as a certified B Corporation® and conversion in 2015 to a U.S. Public Benefit Corporation, a new class of corporation committed to creating a positive impact on society.
About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is a leading private equity firm in French-speaking European countries. With more than 40 years of experience, Apax Partners provides long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. Funds managed and advised by Apax Partners exceed €3 billion.
These funds invest in fast-growing middle-market companies across four sectors of specialisation. TMT: Altran, Cabovisão-ONI, Gfi Informatique, Melita and Vocalcom
Retail & Consumer: ALAIN AFFLELOU, Europe Snacks, Groupe Royer and THOM Europe (Histoire d’Or, Marc Orian and TrésOr)
Healthcare: Amplitude Surgical and Unilabs
Business & Financial Services: Groupe INSEEC, SK FireSafety and TEXA
Bpifrance, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts and the French State, oversees public sector financing and capital investment activities in French companies. Bpifrance finances businesses from the seed phase to IPO, through loans, guarantees and equity investments. Bpifrance also provides operational services and strong support for innovation, international development in partnership with Business France and Coface and external growth.
Bpifrance offers businesses a large range of financing opportunities at each key step of their development, including offers adapted to regional specificities. With its 42 regional offices, Bpifrance represents a strategic tool for economic competitiveness dedicated to entrepreneurs. Bpifrance acts as a back-up for initiatives driven by the French State and the regions to tackle 3 goals: contributing to SME’s growth, preparing tomorrow’s competitiveness and contributing to the development of a positive entrepreneur ecosystem. With Bpifrance, businesses benefit from a powerful, efficient and close representative, to answer all their needs in terms of financing, innovation and investment.