Oxford International acquired; schools division sold to Nord Anglia

Oxford International will sell its schools division, comprising three independent schools, to Nord Anglia Education.

The new partnership with THI will accelerate growth and position it as a “premier university partnerships, digital education and language training provider”, according to the companies.

“THI is a great fit and will enable us to expand our offering and continue to deliver exceptional services”

“We are excited about the future for both parts of our business following the transactions with THI and Nord Anglia,” Oxford International’s Group chief executive officer Lil Bremermann-Richard said.

While the agreement will see an exit for previous investor Bowmark Capital, Bremermann-Richard highlighted that during the seven years the company worked with Oxford International, revenues more than doubled and profitability tripled.

“I am proud of what our schools and colleges team have achieved and I am confident they will continue to thrive with Nord Anglia’s guidance,” she added.

The future with THI is “full of opportunities, with investment accelerating our growth and strategic plan”, she continued, as well as THI bringing operational expertise.

“THI is a great fit and will enable us to expand our offering and continue to deliver the exceptional services that our partners and students know and trust.”

The agreement with Nord Anglia Education will see the international schools organisation integrate three Oxford-based UK schools – Oxford International College, d’Overbroeck’s and Oxford Sixth Form College – on March 31. It will bring the total number of Nord Anglia schools to 73 in 30 countries.

Additionally, short-term course provider for students aged 10-18 Bucksmore Education will also join Nord Anglia.

Some 1,100 students will join 67,000 classmates around the world, while the schools’ 200 teachers will benefit from Nord Anglia’s professional development program.

“We are proud to celebrate another milestone in Nord Anglia’s history by welcoming three new UK schools to our global family,” said Andrew Fitzmaurice, Nord Anglia Education chief executive officer.

“By becoming part of the Nord Anglia family of schools, students and colleagues will benefit from our collaborations with leading global institutions including MIT, King’s College London, Juilliard and UNICEF.”

With offices in London and Stuttgart, THI Investments has total assets under management of €1.8bn and invests equity amounts from £30-100m in businesses in its core sectors.

Its growing portfolio of education businesses includes Corndel (the UK’s leading management and digital skills training provider) and Learnship (a US and Germany based digital English language learning business).

“This is an exciting time to be investing in education, a sector undergoing dynamic change and one which we know very well,” Edmund Buckley, managing director Private Equity at THI, said.

“This is an exciting time to be investing in education, a sector undergoing dynamic change”

“Oxford International is an exceptional business with an attractive portfolio of online, hybrid and campus-based courses and numerous levers for growth.

“We look forward to working with Lil and her team, leveraging our financial, operational and industry expertise to invest in and grow the business, providing current and new partners with outstanding service and attracting students from around the world with high quality educational opportunities.”

Oxford International’s OI Digital Institute, launched in 2020, has supported over 5,000 students in achieving UK university admissions, while its European partnership with Jacobs University has also further developed the international education sector online and in Europe, Oxford International noted.

It is also set to launch a new UK pathways collaboration in early spring 2021, and its partnership with De Montfort University anticipates 1,000 international students enrolled and on course by April 2021.

Chris Spanoudakis will be stepping down as Oxford International’s executive chairman, and said achievements with Bowmark were “a direct result of the passion and commitment of all of the team in Oxford International”.

“I have no doubt that under Nord Anglia’s ownership and separately Lil’s leadership, both parts of the Group will continue to go from strength to strength.”

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