Presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Hugh Duberly CBE, the Queen’s Award is the UK’s highest accolade for business success.
“We’ve grown it by multiples, whichever way you look at it: the number of students, revenue, profit, the number of jobs we’re offering”
“I want to reiterate how much this is an award for the team,” Duberly told attendees. “It recognises your hard work, your dedication, your motivation, the skills and professionalism that you have brought to the firm.”
Fergus Brownlee, CEG’s CEO, told The PIE News that the company has grown by “many multiples” in recent years.
“We’ve grown it by multiples, whichever way you look at it: the number of students, revenue, profit, the number of jobs we’re offering in Cambridge,” he commented. “So it’s a much bigger, much stronger, much more devolved business than when we started.”
Brownlee explained that CEG started life as “a very small family company in Cambridge and in seven years we’ve turned it into certainly one of, if not the, leading international education businesses coming out of the UK”.
The group was sold to US-based private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital in December for an enterprise value of UK£185 million – more than 14 times the previous owners’ investment, Brownlee told The PIE News, which he added may have made CEG more “eye catching” when it came to selecting the business as a winner for the award.
During Palamon Capital‘s ownership, CEG’s revenue grew five-fold to an estimated £90 million for the academic year 2013-14.
The group is now looking to expand further into the US and Europe, having acquired Boston Academy of English last year.
“We in Cambridgeshire are very honoured to have a firm like yours that has got this recognition and we wish every success in the future,” Duberly told attendees at the event. “[The group’s plans for expansion] sound very exciting, and that’s very good for Cambridge, so I’m delighted, but it also sounds extremely good for those who come and study here in the United Kingdom under your tutelage.”