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SI-UK sells stake to private equity firm Averna

Student recruitment company SI-UK has this week sold a stake of its business to private equity firm Averna Capital. 

SI-UK co-founders Dwayne Gallagher and Orion Judge will continue to lead the company in partnership with Averna. Photo: Natasha I Gillett Photography

SI-UK projects that it will facilitate 220,000 applications for 85,000 students this year

SI-UK, which helps place international students in UK universities, has been valued at an estimated £100 million, and Averna is its first and only investor. 

The details of the sale have not been made public but London-based Averna said it has committed to “a significant investment”. 

Dwayne Gallagher and Orion Judge, directors and co-founders of SI-UK, will remain “significant” shareholders and continue to lead the company in partnership with investors. 

Last year, SI-UK told The PIE News that it expected to generate approximately £25 million in revenue in 2021 and had a three-year growth plan to reach £100 million in annual revenue. 

“We are delighted to partner with Dwayne & Orion and support SI during its next phase of growth,” said Stephen Green, partner at Averna. 

“The business offers an indispensable bridge between universities and students, and we are impressed with the international footprint across source markets it has built to date.”

Averna said it will provide funding for further growth and will support SI-UK to develop its data and technology capabilities, among other areas. 

“Utilising Averna’s sizeable investment, SI-UK will be able to expand its operations”

This year, SI-UK projects that it will facilitate 220,000 applications for 85,000 students, converting to over 18,000 enrolments.

“Utilising Averna’s sizeable investment, SI-UK will be able to expand its operations, staffing, services, marketing and technology to more fully support client universities, and students globally,” said Judge. 

“We have built long-lasting relationships with the majority of UK universities and are consistently committed to offering them the best-in-class services,” added Gallagher. 

“We believe there is significant potential to grow further, which can be unlocked by partnering with the right institution and we are excited to continue our journey alongside Averna.” 

In April, EducationInvestorGlobal reported that other bidders included Navitas and IDP Education. 

The news follows the announcement of a significant hire with former head of Education at Sannam S4, Lakshmi Iyer, joining the company as managing director at SI-UK India.

The company, which was founded in Tokyo in 2006, works with almost 200 universities and institutions and, in the next five years, aims to achieve 100,000 student placements per year. In 2021, UCL selected SI-UK as its representative to recruit international postgraduate students globally.

The company has over 80 offices in 40 countries. 

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One Response to SI-UK sells stake to private equity firm Averna

  1. Seems this will provide fuel to accelerate this respected brand–Good news for students and unis. Looking forwarding to seeing them set up offices across Europe for our students!

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