GSF students at a school in Singapore.
GSF students at a school in Singapore

Premium schools network Global Schools Foundation (GSF), together with its investment arm and related entities (Global Schools Group), has secured up to $250 million in investment from international financial institutions, primarily secured through a long-term equity solution from Apollo Global Management and debt from a Singapore bank.

Global Schools Foundation teaches 16,000 students across 23 campuses in eight countries.

The funds have been raised to help GSF with its global expansion through mergers and acquisition of good schools and education companies in Asia, and project financing for new greenfield schools. GSF stated it is seeking to tap the growing interest in the K12 sector in Asia and is looking to announce a few acquisitions early next year.

Atul Temurnikar, GSF chairman, said: “We were seeking to invest in high-growth education institutions, and Apollo’s Hybrid Value business was able to respond quickly to these needs, with bespoke structured equity solutions. GSF is well-positioned to harness synergies to take these acquired schools to the next level of excellence. GSF expects to invest in excess of $450 million over the next few years to finance our growth and expansion.”

The fundraising comes as GSF sees increasing appetite for K12 investments which are often viewed as an attractive asset class with long-term stable cash flows, less susceptible to economic cycles, and providing predictable and stable income streams.

GSF has entered into non-binding agreements with several schools and intends to focus on acquisitions and strategic partnerships in geographies such as Japan and South Korea in North Asia, and Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries.

Kaustubh Bodhankar, chief executive of Global Schools Foundation, said: “We are excited about our next phase of growth and are actively seeking bolt-on acquisitions of single as well as large school chains. We are thrilled to partner with GSF/Global Schools Group, which is the world’s most awarded network of schools in K12 education in the Asia-Pacific region.

Gaurav Pant, Apollo Hybrid Value partner, added: “Global Schools Group has a strong reputation of providing cutting-edge, technology enabled learning environments focused on holistic, value-based education in multiple international curricula. This investment is another example of how Apollo’s Hybrid Value platform works constructively with business owners and entrepreneurs to deliver customised capital solutions to grow their businesses. Our team has had long-standing relationships with the management and we’re excited to continue to support these businesses.”

GSF’s related entity was selected by Enterprise Singapore to be part of its Scaleup SG programme. Enterprise Singapore is the Singapore government agency championing enterprise development and Scale-up SG is a 12-18 months programme that helps selected high-growth potential local companies scale effectively, become leaders in their fields, and be groomed into future global champions.

Global Schools Group was advised by PwC (financial) and K&L Gates Straits Law. Apollo Global Management was advised by King & Spalding.

Vishal Thapliyal, partner of PwC Singapore, commented: “We look forward to creating long-term bespoke solutions that are most suited for the K12 education sector and welcome patient capital for future exciting investment opportunities. GSF is a unique K12 platform and we are excited to be their advisor on the funding strategy to achieve their ambitious growth vision.”

Date published: 4 August 2021

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