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CEG sells CATS Colleges for £150m

Cambridge Education Group and its private equity owner, Bridgepoint, have announced the sale of the CATS Colleges division to Bright Scholar, the largest operator of international and bilingual schools in China. The transaction is said to have totalled £150 million.

CATS is an international school network with a globally integrated platform of campuses in the UK, North America and China.Photo: CATS Colleges

The sale of CATS Colleges is scheduled to complete by the end of July

CATS is an international school network with a globally integrated platform of campuses in the UK, North America and China.

“The acquisition will set the stage for accelerating the expansion of Bright Scholar’s overseas school portfolio”

It comprises six campuses in Cambridge, London, Canterbury, Shanghai and Boston, plus an arts school in Cambridge, as well as 10 international languages schools.

In acquiring CATS Colleges, Bright Scholar is aiming to accelerate growth in a range of strong international markets, including China.

Executive vice-chairman of Bright Scholar Jerry He said the acquisition of CATS will expand Bright Scholar’s significant presence outside of China as the business continues to build a global network of premium schools.

“The addition of the CATS international network of schools will help Bright Scholar share best practices and innovations to raise the standards of teaching and improve the learning experience of our students,” he said.

He added that acquisition will set the stage for accelerating the expansion of Bright Scholar’s overseas school portfolio, distinguishing the operator as a global premium education service provider.

Speaking about the acquisition, CEO of CEG Michael Ioakimides said the business wished Bright Scholar and CATS Colleges continued success.

“Our focus will now be on the future development prospects and accelerated growth of…our university pathways business ONCAMPUS, and our digital business,” Ioakimides said.

“At ONCAMPUS, we want to continue the recent trend of outstanding organic growth. In digital, the platform of 1,000 students will be used to launch further programs and sign new partners.”

CATS Colleges will continue to be run by David Newton and his management team. Bridgepoint acquired CEG in 2013, and the sale of CATS Colleges is scheduled to complete by the end of July.

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