GEMS JV Acquires 14 Saudi Schools, Targets 50

GEMS Education with Hassana Investment Company, the investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s General Organisation for Social Insurance, are to acquire Ma’arif Education, the largest private school owner in Saudi.
GEMS JV Acquires 14 Saudi Schools, Targets 50
By David Westley
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Dubai based GEMS Education and Hassana Investment Company, the investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s General Organisation for Social Insurance, have signed an agreement to acquire the Ma’arif Education Group, the largest private school owner and operator in Saudi Arabia.

The schools consist of both national and international schools across the Kingdom and currently enrol more than 22,000 students.

The acquisition is said to be part of a larger joint venture to "enhance and grow the education sector in Saudi Arabia". Under terms of the JV, GEMS Education and Hassana plan to build a significant portfolio of more than 50 schools and provide high-quality education to more than 100,000 students across the Kingdom.

It is not clear if if the two parties are equally funding the acquisition, or whether one is simply providing expertise.

Saad Al-Fadly, CEO, Hassana Investment Company said: “The joint venture is a formalization of our ambitious plan to invest in the education sector in Saudi Arabia.

"The joint venture aims at generating strong returns on investment over the long term whilst providing best-of-class education services.

"We believe that the combination of GEMS successful track record in the education sector and Hassana’s strengths as a Saudi institutional investor gives the joint venture an unrivalled competitive advantage.”

Dino Varkey, CEO, GEMS Education said: “The Ma’arif acquisition of 14 schools is an ideal platform from which to grow and we are incredibly excited about further expansion in the country. Saudi is one of the most attractive growth markets for GEMS Education.”

Majed Al Mutairi, Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education, KSA added: “We look forward to working with teachers, students and parents who are currently enrolled in Ma’arif schools and are excited about welcoming new families. With the public and private sector working together, we can help improve the standard of education in the country and enhance human capital development.”

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