Stockholm-based investment firm EQT Credit has announced that it is the largest lender in a €255 million second lien term loan financing solution to support Jacobs Holding’s investment in Cognita, crystallising a deal reported exclusively by this publication in November. 

Launched in 2004, Cognita provides private K12 education and operates 72 schools in eight countries across Asia, Europe and Latin America. The company employs 7,000 teaching and support staff, educating more than 40,000 students across a diverse range of international, national and bilingual curricula.

This publication had reported that US-investment bank Goldman Sachs was running an equity syndicate process for Cognita on behalf of its owner, Swiss family office Jacobs Holding. The process was to see Jacobs offload an equity stake in schools giant Cognita, of which it was the 100% owner. While exact motivations were unclear, sources had suggested that Jacobs could have been looking to reduce its exposure to the asset due to concerns around growth prospects, or to free up capital for future expansion.

Paul Johnson, partner at EQT Partners said: “Cognita is strongly positioned as one of the largest K12 platforms globally, with a diversified portfolio of high-quality schools that is well invested to support continued growth and has an outstanding management team with a strong performance track record. EQT Credit looks forward to supporting the company in its future development.”

Nakul Sarin, director at EQT added: “EQT is proud to partner with Jacobs and Cognita for the third mid-market credit investment in the education sector. We would like to thank EQT’s industrial advisors who, as senior executives in the European and Asian private school sectors, provided key support and insight to the EQT Credit deal team throughout the due diligence process.”

EQT is an investment firm with more than €50 billion in raised capital across 28 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than €19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees.

Date published: 22 January 2019

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