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Providence Equity acquires NACE Schools group

Providence Equity Partners, the US private equity firm that owns major international providers Study Group and Galileo Global Education, has acquired NACE Schools, a Spain-based international schools group enrolling more than 11,000 students.

NACE Schools Agora Patufet international nursery, SpainNACE Schools operates 21 international schools in four countries, including Agora Patufet, an international nursery in San Cugat, Spain. Photo: NACE Schools.

"Providence has extensive experience, and their resources, relationships and insights will help us achieve our long-term goals”

Providence bought the group, which operates 21 primary and secondary schools in Spain, France, India and the UK, from Spanish private equity firm Magnum Capital.

“With Magnum’s backing, we have continued to invest and grow across all of our schools”

The value of the sale is undisclosed, but estimates by industry sources have ranged as high as €350m – three times the amount reportedly paid by Magnum for the group three years ago – as reported by Spanish newspaper El Confidencial.

The group operates eight schools in Spain, five in France, one in England and seven in India. More than half its students are now taught outside Spain.

The group boasts an global outlook in teaching across all of its schools, offering language teaching and immersion and stints abroad as well as internationally-recognised qualifications such as the iGCSE and International Baccaleureate.

Magnum Capital bought the group from Baring Private Equity and Banco Popular in May 2014 for a sum that was reportedly just over €100m.

The group reportedly generated revenues of €68m in 2013, according to Magnum.

“We are grateful for Magnum Capital’s contribution to our success over the past three years. With Magnum’s backing, we have continued to invest and grow across all of our schools,” Sergio González-Andión, CEO of NACE Schools, said in a statement.

“We are pleased to now have Providence Equity’s support and look forward to working with their team to continue providing educational excellence to our students in the communities we serve and building new opportunities for growth.

“Providence has extensive experience supporting the growth of companies in the education sector, and we are confident that their resources, relationships and insights will help us achieve our long-term goals.”

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