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Exclusive: GEMS sells its northern schools portfolio

GEMS Education has sold five schools in Yorkshire and Lancashire to Alpha Schools.
EducationInvestor understands that the transaction was valued at £2.5 million. 
The buyer is a Buckinghamshire-based company, not affiliated to the similarly-named Alpha Plus Schools. The deal leaves GEMS with no schools in the north of England.

A GEMS spokesperson said: “After an extensive review of our operations in the UK, GEMS has sold five prep schools in the north.  Alpha Schools is an established provider of excellent preparatory schools with a strong track record of academic achievement and parental satisfaction."

In 2011, GEMS sold two of its UK schools, to Bellevue Education Group and Alpha Schools. But the international schools company has maintained that the sales do not represent the start of an exit from the UK market, and it retains six schools in the south. 

The spokesperson added: "We remain committed to the UK and are actively looking to open new schools in the near future.”
Outside the UK, GEMS is currently undergoing a major expansion programme. In April it borrowed AED 2 billion (£351 million) from a consortium of Arabic banks, to fund new schools across the Middle East and North Africa. 
GEMS also runs schools in countries including the UAE, US, India, Kenya and China. 

Posted on: 17/07/2013

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