The sale process for some selective assets of Alpha Plus, a British group of independent schools, has kicked off with information memoranda (IM) being distributed to prospective bidders, EducationInvestor Global can reveal.

The assets that are being sold comprise three sixth form colleges based in Cambridge, London and Manchester (Abbey College Cambridge, Abbey College Manchester and DLD London) and three schools including Falcons Prep and Portland Place.

According to one of our sources, the assets would be marketed off an EBITDA of around £6 million, with price expectations in the 12x region. However, two other sources close to the business told this publication that the assets are loss making and their valuation is expected to be much lower.

Alpha Plus operates 13 independent schools, three standalone nurseries and three colleges based across the UK, as well as one school in New York.

The entire group generated revenue of £104.2m in the year ended 31 August 2021, 4% lower than the previous year, with adjusted EBITDA of £20.5m, £1.2m lower than 2020, according to its latest Companies House filing. The group reduced its loss to £19.1 million in 2021, from £26.5 million recorded the previous year.

Alpha Plus is owned by Delancey, an asset manager that specialises in real estate investment. The firm mandated Macquarie in October 2021 to explore a sale, as reported by this publication.

Delancey acquired Alpha Plus in 2007 from private equity firm Sovereign Capital Partners for around £140 million. The seller, which had acquired the business five years earlier for £26 million, generated a 53% IRR and a 5.5x return on its investment.

Date published: 13 April 2022

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