Sovereign acquired Astrum, which operates sixth form colleges in London, in 2012 for a rumoured £30m. Details of the sale to Sailing have not been released, but Education Investor reported that a source said the deal was worth more than ten times EBITDA.
In the last four years, all three of Astrum’s colleges – Duff Miller, Lansdowne College and Chelsea Independent College – were converted from day to boarding schools, making the group the largest boarding schools provider in central London.
Student numbers “significantly grew” during this period, Sovereign said in a statement, reaching around 750 students across the group.
Astrum also entered the pathways sector in 2014 through a partnership with NCUK in 2014 to launch international foundation year courses at two of its colleges.
“Sovereign has been a highly supportive investor and understands the importance of quality of service as well as robust growth,” added Mark Labovitch, CEO, Astrum Education Group. “We look forward to further developing the group in what is an exciting marketplace.”
This is Sovereign’s second exit in three months, following the sale of Lifetime Training Group.
“We are delighted to have partnered this high quality group of schools over the last four years,” commented Andrew Hayden, managing partner at Sovereign Capital.
“We have worked to support the business as it developed both its service offering and international reach and we wish the management team every continued success for the future.”