The sale process for student recruitment company SI-UK has attracted several bidders with offers in the £100 million region, EducationInvestor Global can reveal.

A spokesperson for SI-UK told this publication that the company is looking to sell a minority stake.

SI-UK has been marketed off an EBITDA of around £10-15 million, according to three sources close to the process. Bidders include Australian education providers Navitas and IDP Education as well as two private equity firms, two sources told this publication.

“SI-UK did well during the pandemic despite the drastic reduction in student flows and continues to have a large and robust market,” one of our sources said. “The company’s management team is based in Thailand and this might discourage some buyers with a UK or European focus, while attracting global and Australasian players.”

SI-UK hired investment bank Macquarie last January to run the sale of the business, as reported by Mergermarket.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, SI-UK partners with UK universities, colleges and language schools to help them recruit international students.

The company has placement agents based around the world and 75 offices in 35 countries. In 2021, SI-UK sent and managed 130,000 applications to UK universities from 45,000 students in over 90 countries, according to its website.

Date published: 22 April 2022

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