GFH acquires AMA International University-Bahrain for $100mln

GFH Financial Group opts for increased investment in the GCC's fast growing education sector, increasing the value of its education portfolio to $250mln

  
Traders are seen at Bahrain Bourse in Manama, Bahrain, September 16, 2019.

Traders are seen at Bahrain Bourse in Manama, Bahrain, September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed

Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group has announced the completion of its acquisition of AMA International University Bahrain (AMAUIB), a transaction valued in excess of $100 million.

The group said it had completed the acquisition along with partners, and that it would now take a lead in the university’s management.

The university, based in Salmabad, Bahrain, and founded in 2002, has 2,500 students making it the kingdom’s second largest.

“This number is expected to grow significantly in coming years following the university’s successful accreditation at the end of 2019 from the Higher Education Council, which has allowed it begin offering enrolment to students from across the GCC and beyond,” GFH said in a statement to Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

The university is also Bahrain’s only institution to be accredited by ABET – a global education accreditation body which includes accreditors from Harvard and MIT, the company said.

Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH, said: “Investment in the education sector, among the fastest growing in the GCC region today, forms one of the key pillars of our strategy and we are focused on continuing to diversify and strengthen our portfolio with the addition of unique assets, like AMAIUB, to which we can apply our deep investment and operational know-how to deliver further growth and value for all stakeholders.

“With this investment, and our management of the university, we will work closely with the administration, staff and students in order to help accelerate AMAUIB’s ability to meet and maximise its vast potential.

“This includes adding additional resources and expertise that will even further enhance its offering and capacity and raise the bar for excellence in international standard higher education in the region.”

Other education investments in GFH’s portfolio include Britus Eduction, a K12 provider which operates 10 private schools across the Middle East.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Daniel Luiz)

(imogen.lillywhite@refinitiv.com)

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