UK & Europe
Global law firm Clyde & Co advised a Swiss investment fund Jacobs Holding AG on its recently announced acquisition of the Cognita global private schools group from KKR and Bregal. The deal is Jacobs Holding’s biggest UK takeover to date and is the largest global education transaction since Nord Anglia’s acquisition and take private last year.
Cognita is a global education group that operates 70 schools in eight countries, including the UK, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil and Chile, educating more than 40,000 children worldwide.
Clyde & Co worked alongside Linklaters to advise on the acquisition of the Cognita group, with its dedicated education team also working closely with Jacobs Holding's other advisors which included Bank of America Merrill Lynch, EY and EY Parthenon. The deal signed earlier this month and the acquisition is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Ross Barfoot, Corporate Partner and Co-Global Head of Education at Clyde & Co, comments: "This is a landmark transaction for the education sector, which demonstrates the increasing prominence of global school groups and their attractiveness to investors. We leveraged our long standing track record and expertise advising clients in the education sector and our global presence to advise on this important deal."
Patrick De Maeseneire, Chief Executive of Jacobs Holding, said: “We are very excited to join forces with Cognita and its management team. It has always been the aim of Jacobs Holding and the Jacobs Family to create global leaders in attractive markets, and therefore we are keen to support Cognita in its further international expansion. With this acquisition we are able to invest in education and the development of young people. These themes always played an important role for Klaus Jacobs, our founder, and are at the heart of the Jacobs Foundation, which is the sole economic beneficiary of our investments. In this sense and from the perspective of a long-term orientated investor, Cognita presents a very interesting opportunity to create value not only for Jacobs Holding but also for society.”
Clyde & Co was able to draw upon a global team of 60 lawyers who worked on the transaction across its London, UAE, Madrid, Sao Paolo, Hong Kong and Singapore offices. The team is co-led by Ross Barfoot and Simon Gamblin (Partner – Corporate, London), with support from Jonathan Cohen (Senior Associate – Corporate, London).
Clyde & Co is one of the only global law firms with a dedicated education team capable of putting together and implementing deals in the education sector. The firm's global education practice spans its network of more than 50 offices across 6 continents and provides commercial and pragmatic advice to education sector clients on all aspects of their business, including in relation to investments, structuring, M&A, regulatory and strategic matters.