CVC Capital close to $1bln deal for stake in Dubai's GEMS Education

Private school operator GEMS Education is backed by Blackstone Group, that values the firm at more than $4bln

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Large group of students sitting in the classroom and writing a test.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Large group of students sitting in the classroom and writing a test.

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British private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is close to a deal for a 25 percent stake in Dubai’s GEMS Education. However, no final decisions have been made, and the firm may still decide against the deal, Bloomberg reported.

CVC could pay $1 billion or more, and a deal could be announced in the coming days, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.

Private school operator GEMS Education is backed by Blackstone Group, that values the firm at more than $4 billion.

Private equity investors in GEMS including Fajr Capital, Blackstone and Bahrain’s Mumtalakat, held preliminary talks with investors about an outright sale of the more than 20 percent stake after the operator shelved its plan to list in London, which deprived them of an exit in their more than four-year old investment, Reuters reported last year citing sources familiar with the talks.

Last month, GEMS Education expanded into Saudi Arabia by buying Ma’arif Education Group, the largest private school owner and operator in the kingdom, through a joint venture with Hassana Investment. A statement from GEMS had said that Ma'arif has more than 22,000 students across its national and international schools across the kingdom.

(Writing by Seban Scaria seban.scaria@refinitiv.com, editing by Anoop Menon)

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