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French buyout group Ardian acquires majority stake in Study Group

French buyout group Ardian has announced it would buy a majority stake in education provider Study Group from asset manager Providence Equity Partners and build on its presence in key geographies through strategic acquisitions.

Reports that Providence was considering a sale of Study Group first emerged in 2017. Image: Study Group

Study Group supports about 30,000 students from 142 countries

According to Reuters, the deal values Study Group at about £500 million including debt.

“The organisation is poised to continue its strong growth under new ownership”

Reports that Providence was considering a sale of Study Group first emerged in 2017, with Sky News citing sources suggesting a £700m price tag.

Study Group supports about 30,000 students from 142 countries, preparing international students who wish to enter leading English-speaking universities through educational courses that provide them with academic, language and learning skills.

Chairman of Study Group, David Leigh, commented: “It has been a great privilege to lead the excellent team at Study Group over the past six years.

“Led by CEO Emma Lancaster, the organisation is poised to continue its strong growth under new ownership, providing excellent outcomes for students via close partnerships with many of the world’s best universities.”

Olivier Personnaz, managing director in Ardian Buyout team added: “We are proud to invest in Study Group for the next phase of its development. The ambition of the management team, the quality of their long-term university partner relationships and the strength of its growth serve as proof of Study Group’s excellence.

“Through our investment, more students will be able to realise their academic potential”

Alongside the management team, Personnaz continued, we will work to drive further growth and build on the Group’s presence in key geographies through strategic acquisitions.

“Through our investment, more students will be able to realise their academic potential at leading international universities.”

Dany Rammal, managing director at Providence Equity said: “We are pleased to have partnered with Study Group’s strong management team to improve academic outcomes for students around the world, grow the number of university partners from 16 in 2010 to 48 today, and execute a number of strategic and operational efforts that position the company well for its next phase of growth.

“We wish the team every success going forward,” Rammal added.

This acquisition remains subject to the authorization from FIRB in Australia.

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