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Acquisition of INSEEC U. by Cinven

Paris (France), Tuesday 5 March 2019,

International private equity firm, Cinven, today announces that it has agreed the acquisition of INSEEC U., a leading European institution of private Higher Education and Research.

Founded in 1975 in Bordeaux, France, today INSEEC U. operates 16 schools worldwide with campuses across France, the UK, the US, China, Switzerland and Monaco, as well as online education programmes. INSEEC U. offers degrees and accreditation programmes principally in Management & Business, Engineering, Communications & Marketing and Political Science, providing courses for approx. 25,000 students annually. Over the past few years, INSEEC U. has become the first cross-disciplinary education platform in France, combining cutting-edge research, agile teaching, innovative teaching methods and CSR values, in order to provide strong and enduring employability to its students.

Rory Neeson, Partner at Cinven, said: “Our Business Services Sector team has been focused on investment prospects in education for some time given the attractive trends we see in this sector. INSEEC U. represents an excellent opportunity given its strong student outcomes, market-leading position, and the scale and professionalism of its operations. In particular, INSEEC U. ranks as a leader across its key disciplines and is highly regarded by students and recruiters for both the quality of its teaching and its students’ post-graduation employability. We look forward to working with the highly talented management team to further grow the business in France and internationally, both organically and through acquisition.”

Pierre Estrade, Partner at Cinven, added: “INSEEC U. operates in a highly attractive, scalable and resilient market, with strong underlying macro trends expected to continue driving growth, particularly across Europe. The Cinven team is highly experienced at growing businesses internationally as well as executing successful buy and build strategies and we look forward to working with the team at INSEEC U. to achieve this.”

Nicolas Paulmier, Partner at Cinven added: “In this fast changing world, higher and continuous education is a key enabler for societies to evolve. Through its size and agility, Inseec U is set to become a major European player in higher education.”

Catherine Lespine, Chief Executive Officer of INSEEC U., commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Cinven, whose strategy for our business is fully aligned with the vision the INSEEC U. senior management team has for the Group. We look forward to working together: continuing INSEEC U’s successful growth trajectory and benefitting from Cinven’s international footprint and significant experience of supporting growth both organically and through consolidation.”

Bpifrance, the French government agency, has been a minority investor in INSEEC U. since 2016 and is fully committed to continue supporting the development of the business and the private higher education sector in the years ahead.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and antitrust approvals.

Messier Maris & Associés and Financière de Courcelles supported Cinven during all the acquisition process as M&A advisors.

Advisors to Cinven on the transaction

  • Cinven: Nicolas Paulmier, Pierre Estrade, Rory Neeson, Olivier Cassat, Jason Diaz
  • M&A: Messier Maris & Associés (Jean-Marie Messier, Driss Mernissi, Laura Scolan) and Financière de Courcelles (Martine Depas, Ambroise Boissonnet)
  • Legal: Freshfields (Alan Mason)
  • Financial Due Diligence: Eight Advisory (Eric Demuyt, Florent Garnier)
  • Tax Due Diligence: Taj
  • Commercial Due diligence commerciale: The Boston Consulting Group, PMSI

Advisors to INSEEC U. and the shareholders on the transaction

  • M&A: Rothschild & Cie (Laurent Baril, Pierre Sader, Alexandre Mathé, Pierre-Victor Saponaro)
  • Legal and Tax: Linklaters (Fabrice de La Morandière, Mehdi Boumedine)
  • Financial VDD: PwC (Philip Dykstra, Mike Eledjam)
  • Tax VDD: Taj (Malik Douaoui, Florence Théodose)
  • Commercial VDD: LEK Consulting (Arnaud Sergent, Danish Faruqui)
  • Management: Fidufrance Avocats

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