French professional training business Cegos, which is backed by private equity firm Bridgepoint, has acquired its competitor Next Group from private equity house Isatis Capital and other shareholders.
Based in Paris, Next Group offers courses and training in a wide range of fields, including human resources, management, communication, marketing, sales, design, audiovisual, and IT. The company generated EBITDA of €4 million from revenue of €14 million in 2021.
Following the merger, the combined group plans to further boost its growth and accelerate its international expansion, according to a statement.
Eurvad Finance, Vinci Avocats and ACA-Nexia advised Next Group, while the buyer was advised by Transactions & Cie, CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats, EY, Digital Value, EY Societe deAvocats and Hoche Avocats.
A pool of banks composed of Banque Palatine, BNP Paribas, Crédit Lyonnais, La Banque Postale and Société Générale provided a debt package to support the acquisition. The lenders were advised by Simmons & Simmons.
The deal represents an exit for Isatis, which acquired a minority stake in Next Group in September 2018, while the founder and chairman Rémy Moddabber retained a majority holding.
Next Group is the latest of a series of add-ons completed by Cegos in the last few years. It follows the acquisition of Germany-based Integrata in 2014; France-headquartered Cimes in 2017; and Brazil-based Crescimentum and Posiciona in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Cegos has recently received the backing of private equity firm Bridgepoint, which has invested in the business via its lower mid-cap strategy Bridgepoint Development Capital (BDC).
Bridgepoint is acquiring a minority stake in the company, while Cegos current shareholders (around 100 associate managers, a large majority of employees and Cegos Association) are retaining a majority holding.
The company came to market at the beginning of the year, as revealed by this publication in an exclusive report.
Date published: 4 April 2022