I read with interest the announcement that Canada Pension Plan and Baring's have acquired the outstanding minority stake in Nord Anglia. This looks like a significant premium (33%) to the closing share price.
Given Nord Anglia was hardly going cheap, having historically traded at around 15-20x EBITDA in the last year or so, it does demonstrate the sustained investor appetite for education and premium international schooling. Clearly Canada Pension Plan and Barings believe in the long-term opportunity to grow Nord Anglia's existing schools, build more of them and make further acquisitions.
With school platforms of scale such a rarity, growing demand in Asia for Western style schooling and the sheer weight of money looking for buys, desirable school groups look set to continue to trade at sky high prices.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and funds affiliated with Baring Private Equity Asia today announced that they have signed an agreement with Nord Anglia Education to acquire all outstanding shares of Nord Anglia Education. Funds affiliated with BPEA are the majority shareholders of Nord Anglia and BPEA controls 67% of Nord Anglia's issued and outstanding share capital. The transaction values Nord Anglia at USD 4.3 billion, including repayment of debt.