Permira buys 60% stake in EF’s children-focused units in China, Indonesia

Private equity firm Permira bought a 60% stake in the children-focused business of language tutor EF Education First, valuing it at around $1.5 billion, according to two sources with direct knowledge.

Permira and EF declined to comment. The sources, one of whom confirmed the valuation for the China and Indonesia-focused EF Kids & Teens unit, declined to be named as the information is confidential.

The deal, first announced on Tuesday without disclosing financial details, comes as businesses worldwide – particularly in the education, retail and travel sectors – are hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Permira entered exclusive talks with EF in February to buy EF Kids & Teens China operations, valuing it at around $1.6 billion, Reuters reported at the time.

China’s subsequent pandemic lockdown led to recalculations of the unit’s financial projections, according to the sources.

Headquartered in Switzerland, EF Kids & Teens has 288 schools across 62 cities in China and 79 schools in Indonesia and networks of international teachers.

EF said hundreds of thousands of students had used its online proprietary learning platform in recent months. The company said it plans to use Permira‘s investment to expand its school network, invest heavily in academic programs and deliver more innovations for both in-classroom and online learning.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.