Private equity looks to be back in the frame as GEMS Education shareholders continue to mull cashing out, and the possibility of an IPO recedes.
The school group, which operates almost 250 schools worldwide has been approached by the former controlling shareholder in Formula One motor racing, CVC Capital Partners according to a media report.
According to UK based Sky News, the private equity company is in talks to acquire the stakes of a number of the company's shareholders.
The Sky News report adds that CVC has recently held discussions with investors including Blackstone, which owns a small minority of GEMS' shares. It is unclear if CVC aims to acquire the entirety of GEMS, a move that would probably cost it around $4bn (£3bn), or take a small minority stake.
The education group’s major equity are owned by Fajr Capital, Bahrain's Mumtalakat Holding and Sunny Varkey, GEMS' founder.
CVC's move is said to have come before the decision to delay the IPO, something the group attributes to Dubai authorities decision to freeze fees for all schools in the emirate for 2018-19.
Established in 1981, CVC has $69 billion of assets under management, $109 billion of funds committed and a global network of 23 local offices: 15 across Europe and the Americas and eight in the Asia Pacific region.
CVC is majority owned by its employees and led by its Managing Partners.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com requested comment from GEMS Education, but the company declined our invitation.