US-based private equity firm Stonepeak has invested €1 billion in premium schools operator Inspired Education Group in exchange for a minority stake.

Following the deal, Inspired will continue to be led and controlled by its founder Nadim Nsouli, who will retain a majority holding in the business.

Rumours about the sale of a stake in the company had started to circulate at the beginning of the year. Inspired was marketed off an EBITDA of around €210 million, reaching a valuation of 21x, equal to an EV of around 4.4 billion., this publication understands.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in London, Inspired manages a global group of 70 premium schools in 20 countries worldwide, with more than 55,000 students from kindergarten to year 13.

The company is backed by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, private equity firms TA Associates and Warburg Pincus, and the Oppenheimer and Mansour family offices.

Inspired generated EBITDA of €161 million from revenue of €528 million in the year ended 31 August 2021.

With Stonepeak’s support, Inspired expects to further accelerate its growth and global expansion through the development of new school campuses, continued investment in innovation – including the its growing suite of digital offerings – and selective acquisitions of leading schools.

Nsouli, founder, chairman, and chief executive of Inspired, said: “Stonepeak are exactly the type of long-term investor that shares our ambition, vision for growth and dedication to the pursuit of excellence in education, to our group.”

Stonepeak senior managing director, Nikolaus Woloszczuk, added: “We are excited to help accelerate Inspired’s growth strategy as part of Stonepeak’s growing European presence and are eager to see the company bring its successful track record of fostering academic excellence and delivering improved outcomes to even more students globally.”

Stonepeak is an alternative investment firm specialising in infrastructure and real assets with approximately $46 billion of assets under management, which invests in the communications, energy transition, transport and logistics, and social infrastructure sectors.

Date published: 3 May 2022

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