Sky News is reporting that one of Britain’s biggest privately owned education groups has picked banks to lead a £2bn auction amid booming investor appetite for the sector.
Sky News has learnt that the owners of Cognita, which operates 40 schools across the UK and dozens more overseas, has asked Goldman Sachs and Barclays to oversee a sale of the company later this year.
The auction is expected to generate huge returns to KKR and EMK Capital, the two private equity backers of Cognita.
Two rival education companies – Nord Anglia Education and GEMS Education – are reported to be among the potentially interested bidders at a time of accelerating interesting consolidation across the industry.
Cognita’s portfolio includes the Southbank International School in Kensington, Hong Kong’s Stamford American School, and schools in Brazil, Chile, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam.
Cognita could not be reached for comment on Thursday.