KKR acquires majority stake in Indian pre-schools chain EuroKids

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Global alternative investment firm KKR & Co. has acquired a majority stake in Indian pre-schools chain, EuroKids International Pvt. Ltd., from a consortium of existing investors led by private equity firm Gaja Capital, per an announcement.

EuroKids will continue to be managed by its team of experienced educators, administrators and management team led by Co-Founder & Group CEO Prajodh Rajan, who will also remain a shareholder in the company, KKR said in a statement.

KKR has routed the investment through its Asian Fund III. It, however, did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

KKR will work closely with EuroKids and its portfolio of brands to identify both organic and inorganic growth opportunities and ways to enhance offerings and practices, it said. The focus areas will include tech-enabled/digital learning and tailored pedagogy to provide more students with access to a world-class, holistic education.

KKR director Ajay Candade said, “The desire for high-quality educational services is at an all-time high in India. The country has over 125 million children in the two-to-six age range, as well as the largest K-12 population in the world at 320 million people.”

EuroKids, which is one of India’s largest education services providers in the pre-school and K-12 segments, also owns Kangaroo Kids and Billabong High franchise, which it acquired in 2017. Its other portfolio includes EuroKids, EuroKids DayCare and EuroSchool.

Together these brands serve more than 120,000 students from 1,115 pre-Schools and 35 K-12 schools across five countries, the statement added.

“Our mission is to provide Pre-School and K-12 students with a holistic educational foundation that will instill in them a love for learning that will continue throughout their academic career and give them the tools to succeed long-term,” Rajan said.

Gaja Capital, which focuses on mid-market deals, invested in the company in 2013. EuroKids also counts Swiss firm Partners Group among its investors.

Meanwhile, KKR has been an investor in the education space globally. It earlier invested in Cognita Schools, a UK-based global private schools group, Weld North Education, a platform operator of digital and SaaS educational solutions, and Kindercare, a US-based operator of early-education and childcare education facilities.

EY-Parthenon, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Barclays and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as advisors to KKR. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor, and Nishith Desai & Associates was the legal advisor to EuroKids on the deal.