European private equity firm Ardian has agreed to acquire Australia-based international education provider Study Group from global asset management firm Providence Equity Partners for an undisclosed amount.
Study Group provides international education in the UK and Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. Providence, which has a substantial portfolio of education investments, acquired the company in 2010 from Champ Private Equity and Petersen Investments for about $570 million. The acquisition by Ardian remains subject to the authorization from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.
Beginning in 1994 with 7,000 students, Study Group now supports around 30,000 students from 142 countries on campuses spread across three continents annually. It claims to be a market leader in the UK and in Australia with partnerships with 48 universities around the world.
“Study Group prepares international students, who wish to enter leading English-speaking universities, through educational courses that provide them with the academic, language and learning skills needed to succeed,” the company said in a statement.
The company’s standalone schools include Bellerbys College in the UK, Taylors College in Australia and New Zealand, the Australian College of Physical Education, the Australian Institute of Applied Science, and Martin College in Australia. In addition, Study Group owns and operates 19 year-round Embassy CES language schools.
“Study Group is poised to continue its strong growth under new ownership, providing excellent outcomes for students via close partnerships with many of the world’s best universities,” said Study Group chairman David Leigh.
Ardian managing director Olivier Personnaz said his firm will work with Study Group to drive further growth and build on the group’s presence in key geographies through strategic acquisition. Ardian is a private investment house with assets of $90 billion managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Last December, Ardian opened its fourth office in Asia, located in Seoul, South Korea, as part of its increasing focus on the Asian market.
Joining bases in Singapore, Beijing, and Tokyo, the Seoul office brought Ardian’s global network to 15 offices across Europe, North and South America and Asia.
The new location will be used as a hub for Ardian to serve its growing base of Korean institutional investors, as well as increase private equity investment in Korean companies, particularly through its fund-of-funds and co-investment pillars, real estate and services for investors, the Paris-based firm said in a statement.