A consortium led by CVC Strategic Opportunities Fund I and Fund II, with co-investors (“CVC Consortium”) has today entered into a binding agreement, subject to certain closing  a  majority of its stake in GEMS Education to a consortium led by Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. (NYSE: BAM, TSX: BAM).

GEMS Education has grown from a single school, following the 1959 arrival of the founding Varkey family to Dubai as teachers, to become the world's largest provider of private K-12 education. In the five years since CVC Consortium’s original investment, GEMS has performed well, successfully navigating COVID-19 disruptions, to increase student numbers from ~125k to ~140k.

CVC established its Strategic Opportunities strategy in 2014 to invest in high-quality, stable businesses that operate in low-volatility sectors, partnering with founding families or foundations looking for a long-term partner.

Özgür Önder, Senior Managing Director and Head of Middle East, CVC, said: “It has been a privilege to support GEMS as the leading provider of world-class education in the UAE. GEMS was CVC’s first private equity investment in the Middle East and we remain fully committed to investing further in this attractive region.”

Osama Nahhat, Managing Director, CVC Strategic Opportunities, added: “GEMS is an exceptional business with a longstanding legacy, an outstanding management team, first-rate academic provision and a unique place in the UAE education ecosystem. We look forward to its continued success in this new chapter.”

Dino Varkey, Group CEO, GEMS, said: “Providing a truly world-class education is our singular purpose at GEMS Education. Our impact in the world today has never been stronger, and that has been made possible by our exceptional team. We are well-positioned for future growth, thanks to a supportive operating environment that is driving record enrolments, underpinned by a strong UAE economy and a growing population. We thank CVC for their support since 2019, helping GEMS navigate through the Covid pandemic, and supporting management to bring GEMS to the strong position it is in today.”

GEMS has simultaneously secured financing commitments from a consortium of UAE banks to finance the transaction, including funding the repayment of GEMS’ existing financing arrangements.

Completion of the transaction is conditional on the Brookfield consortium satisfying certain conditions by late June 2024, and is expected to take place in Q3 2024. As part of the transaction, CVC Consortium will retain a stake in the Company and welcome Brookfield as new shareholders. The Company’s existing minority shareholders, including Khazanah Nasional Berhad, will exit as part of this transaction.

Holders of GEMS MENASA Cayman Ltd (“GMCL”) Senior Secured Notes should note that this statement does not constitute a formal notice of redemption. GMCL will confirm details of the refinancing upon the transaction becoming unconditional, but note that repayment will be effected no earlier than 31 July 2024.


Carsten Huwendiek chuwendiek@cvc.com

About CVC

CVC is a leading global private markets manager with a network of 29 office locations throughout EMEA, the Americas, and Asia, with approximately €193 billion of assets under management. CVC has seven complementary strategies across private equity, secondaries, credit and infrastructure, for which CVC funds have secured commitments of approximately €235 billion from some of the world's leading pension funds and other institutional investors. Funds managed or advised by CVC’s private equity strategy are invested in approximately 130 companies worldwide, which have combined annual sales of over €155 billion and employ more than 600,000 people. For further information about CVC please visit: https://www.cvc.com/. Follow us on LinkedIn.

All figures as of 31 March 2024, and adjusted to reflect the agreed acquisition of DIF Capital Partners announced in September 2023 (closing of which is subject to regulatory approvals), unless otherwise indicated.

About CVC Strategic Opportunities

The CVC Strategic Opportunities platform was established in response to growing demand from large investors to be able to invest longer term in high-quality businesses. The platform provides partnership capital to make control, co-control, and minority investments in companies with a longerterm return profile and a secure capital structure. For further information about CVC Strategic Opportunities please visit: www.cvc.com/strategies/strategic-opportunities/