London, UK; 24 May 2021
- Partners Group established ISP in 2013 and has built the Company into one of the largest K-12 international school groups globally
- OMERS will join Partners Group as a shareholder in ISP, acquiring a significant minority stake
- The shareholders will continue to support the business, accelerating growth through ISP's buy-and-build strategy and ongoing value creation initiatives
Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, is expanding the shareholder base of International Schools Partnership ("ISP" or "the Company"), a leading international group of K-12 schools. Incoming shareholder OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for municipal employees in the Province of Ontario, has agreed to acquire a 25% stake in the Company. Partners Group will continue to hold a majority stake in the Company on behalf of its clients. The transaction values ISP at an enterprise value of EUR 1.9 billion.
Partners Group formed UK-headquartered ISP in 2013 with the intention of creating a leading international school group through a buy-and-build strategy, capitalizing on the opportunities for consolidation in the K-12 school market. Building on its extensive investment experience in education, Partners Group teamed up with a seasoned management team, led by CEO Steve Brown, which has a highly successful track record in the sector. Today, ISP is the fifth largest K-12 international school group globally, operating 50 schools across 15 countries and serving more than 45,000 pupils. ISP's schools seek to be the 'school of choice' in their local area and put learning at the heart of everything they do. Partners Group's entrepreneurial governance approach has been crucial in building an organization which aspires to deliver world-class learning globally.
David Layton, Co-CEO, Partners Group, says: "ISP is a textbook example of entrepreneurial ownership and transformational investing in action. Having invested extensively in the education sector, we saw the potential to create a leading K-12 school platform supported by growing global demand for high quality education. We had sufficient conviction to back a great management team and get to work to build a business from the ground up. Today, we are pleased to welcome OMERS as a shareholder to ISP, which is already one of the largest K-12 school groups globally and still has significant growth potential ahead of it."
The funds raised from ISP's shareholder expansion will predominantly be used to continue the Company's platform-building strategy. Given its knowledge of ISP, Partners Group will continue to lead the implementation of the value creation plan, together with the Company's management team. During ISP's next stage of growth, the key value creation initiatives will be the ongoing investment in learning and technology, further improvements to the physical infrastructure of schools to improve the student experience, and M&A.
Steve Brown, Chief Executive Officer, International Schools Partnership, comments: "We are proud of what we have achieved at ISP, where we have the goal of creating 'schools of choice' for parents worldwide that deliver the best possible learning experience to our students. We see ample opportunity to continue our growth trajectory and are delighted to continue our partnership with Partners Group and to welcome our new partner OMERS."
Jonathan Mussellwhite, Senior Managing Director, OMERS European Private Equity, says: "Over the last 15 years, OMERS Private Equity has successfully executed on a strategy of partnering with top management teams at industry-leading companies to support accelerated growth. ISP is a great fit for this strategy, with its portfolio of schools of choice and the strength and experience of its leadership team. We are excited by the addition of ISP to our portfolio as we continue to look for opportunities to deploy capital across Europe and build our European Private Equity business."
Andrew Deakin, Managing Director, Partners Group, adds: "Our purpose when we started ISP was to inspire students and equip them to be successful. Over the last eight years, as we have built the business from scratch, we have balanced strong growth with ensuring the business develops at a sustainable pace. As a result, the Company today has a growing portfolio of assets with long-term revenue visibility. We will maintain this emphasis on sustainable growth with our new partner."