Carlyle Acquires Stake in Bahcesehir

The Carlyle Group has acquired a 48% stake in Bahcesehir Koleji, a private education provider in Turkey. The existing shareholders, the Yucel and Karatas groups, will remain significant investors in the company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (“Carlyle”) announced today that it has acquired a 48% stake in Bahcesehir Koleji (“Bahcesehir” or the “Company”), a private education provider in Turkey. The existing shareholders, the Yucel and Karatas groups, will remain as significant investors in Bahcesehir. Financial terms of the transaction, which closed on Tuesday 27th December, 2011 were not disclosed.

Established in 1994, Bahcesehir Koleji, part of Bahcesehir Education Group, has risen to become one of the largest providers in the nursery, primary and secondary school segments of Turkey’s emerging private education sector. In August 2011, Bahcesehir operated 20 primary schools and 11 secondary schools, serving approximately 12,000 students.

Enver Yucel, Chairman of Bahcesehir Koleji, said, “As Turkey’s education industry strives to meet global standards, it will greatly benefit from further investment and from collaborating with international organizations. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Carlyle, which is one of the world’s most experienced investors in the education sector. Our aim is to provide greater access to high quality education in Turkey and to globalize our approach to learning whilst retaining traditional values. We remain committed to continually enhancing our principles and policies of education, and believe that this partnership will support the progression of education in Turkey.”

Walid Musallam, Carlyle Managing Director and Head of Carlyle MENA, said, “Demand for private education in Turkey is increasing, driven by a number of factors including a growing student population and higher incomes. Bahcesehir Koleji has developed a strong position in this sector and we are very excited to be investing in the business. The private school sector remains fragmented and penetration remains low in Turkey. We look forward to working with Bahcesehir Koleji as it executes its ongoing growth strategy.”

Can Deldag, Managing Director responsible for Turkey investments within Carlyle MENA, said: “We are particularly excited to be investing in this strong growing company which, we believe, has great potential. In partnership with Bahcesehir’s talented management team, we plan to invest in the high standards of education that Bahcesehir Koleji is reputed for and to enhance the resources and facilities for students which will be integral to its continued success.”

Carlyle’s investment in Bahcesehir underscores the firm’s commitment to Turkey. Equity for this investment will come from Carlyle MENA Partners, L.P., a $500 million growth capital and buyout fund established in March 2009. Previous investments made by Carlyle MENA include: Alamar Foods, operator of Domino’s Pizza and Wendy’s restaurants throughout MENA and producer of food products for the casual dining industry, in December 2011; The General Lighting Company, Saudi Arabia’s largest lighting fixture manufacturer, in March 2010; and Medical Park, Turkey’s second largest healthcare group, in December 2009.

Carlyle is an experienced investor in private education and recent investments in the sector include: Apollo Group, an education provider for more than 30 years in USA, operating the University of Phoenix, the Institute for Professional Development, the College for Financial Planning, Western International University and Insight Schools; HaoYue Education Group, a private higher education service provider in China; Wall Street Institute, Inc., a global operator and franchisor of English language instruction services; Universidad Latinoamericana, S.C., a for-profit university with four campuses in the Mexico City Metropolitan area and Cuernavaca, Morelos; and NeWorld Education Group, one of the leading language training school groups in Eastern China.

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Carlyle MENA Partners
Carlyle’s MENA team was established in 2007 to invest primarily in healthy, growing companies. Carlyle’s team of 10 investment professionals targets investments in Turkey, the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), and the Levant (Lebanon and Jordan). The team leverages Carlyle’s expertise in various sectors, including consumer products, energy, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunication and transportation.

The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $148 billion of assets under management in 89 active funds and 52 fund of fund vehicles as of September 30, 2011. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Fund of Funds Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has developed expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,200 people in 33 offices across six continents. Web:; Case Studies:; Video:

Bahcesehir Koleji

Bahcesehir Koleji is a leading company in the nursery, primary and secondary school segments of Turkey’s emerging private education sector with a strong growth track record. The annual number of students attending its schools has grown from over. 2,700 in 2007-08 to over12,000 in the current school year.

Bahcesehir Koleji is part of Bahcesehir Education Group which was founded in 1974 by Enver Yucel, a successful educational entrepreneur who is also the head of TODER (private education association of Turkey). In addition to Bahcesehir Koleji, Bahcesehir Education Group also owns Bahcesehir University, a private university with approx. 13,000 students, and Ugur, a chain of test preparation centers.