The global private schools’ group Cognita has been acquired by an investment firm for Switzerland's wealthy Jacobs family. Cognita operates more than 70 schools across eight countries, including Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Spain, Brazil, Chile and the UK.
Jacobs Holding of Switzerland has signed a binding agreement to buy Cognita, which currently educates more than 40,000 children worldwide. Since it was established with a single school in the UK in 2004, Cognita has expanded with campuses across Europe, Asia and Latin America. Its schools in South East Asia range from the standalone primary St. Andrews International School, Dusit in Bangkok, which has just over 200 students, to the all-through Australian International School in Singapore with a student body of more than 2,500.
Patrick De Maeseneire, chief executive of Jacobs Holding, told the media that it had always been the aim of Jacobs Holding and the Jacobs Family "to create global leaders in attractive markets", and therefore was "keen to support Cognita in its further international expansion...
"With this acquisition we are able to invest in education and the development of young people.”
The acquisition is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2018. No financial details of the transaction have been disclosed.
Chris Jansen, chief executive of Cognita, said: “We are extremely pleased to be entering a new and exciting phase with Jacobs Holding.
"We both share an ambition to help shape the future, by educating young minds to think globally, act responsibly and achieve their full potential.”
Cognita has three schools in Bangkok including St. Andrews International School, Dusit; St. Andrews International School, Sukhumvit 107; and St. Andrews International School, Sathorn. In Eastern Thailand, Cognita has the all-through St. Andrews International School, Green Valley.
In Singapore, the group operates the Australian International School (AIS) and Stamford American International School (SAIS); in 2017, it opened the Early Learning Village, which claims to be the world’s largest pre-school, on a campus that is shared between AIS and SAIS.
Cognita also has three schools in Vietnam, including International School Saigon Pearl, Ho Chi Minh City; International School Ho Chi Minh City-American Academy; and International School Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
One of Cognita’s most recent openings in Asia was Stamford American School, Hong Kong in 2017; in addition, Woodland pre-schools joined the Cognita group earlier this year.