Global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners completed the sale of Education International Corporation (EIC) to a consortium led by NLD Investment LLP, a leading Chinese private equity fund, in partnership with the founder and management of EIC. EIC is China’s largest overseas educational counselling service provider, with a 13% national market share.
As a result of its exit, CVC is said to have multiplied the return on its approximately $200 million investment, when it acquired EIC from its founder Joe Li and private equity firm Actis Capital in December 2013.
The move comes after CVC’s planned a $300 to $500 million Hong Kong IPO announced in July 2015 failed to materialize. Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and UBS were hired as sponsors of the proposed IPO.
The company is also a leading integrated overseas education advisory services provider in China, offering market leading complementary test preparation services as part of the integrated overseas education advisory services to students. In 2014, EIC helped over 18,500 students enroll at an overseas education institution, of which approximately 45% enrolled at one of the top 50 globally ranked universities.
EIC has the largest network of relationships with over 800 partner education institutions. Since its inception in 2000 EIC has placed over 120,000 students at overseas education institutions. EIC delivers its services and programs to students through a network of offices across Mainland China, comprising 26 counselling centers across 26 cities, and 30 test preparation centers across 13 cities. In addition to its offices in Mainland China, EIC has a growing global footprint with seven overseas centers in seven cities, including Boston, New York, Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hong Kong.
EIC generated a $125.5 million turnover and has over 2,000 employees, according to CVC.
“I am grateful for the outstanding level of support that I received from CVC, which together with the hard work and commitment of our employees, has enabled EIC’s continued growth. We are delighted to be partnering with NLD to further our success as the most trusted partner for international education for Chinese students,” said Isa Wong, CEO of EIC.
“CVC has been a great partner to the EIC business over the past few years, bringing their industry knowledge, market expertise and resources, which have been crucial in creating value and enabling EIC to become a world-class educational service provider,” said Joe Li, founder of EIC.
Jerry Liu, managing director of NLD said, “Chinese students are increasingly looking for a high-quality international education experience both domestically and abroad. We are excited about the opportunity to work with EIC’s excellent management team to further enhance its leadership position as the partner of choice for international education.”
“We have been deeply impressed by EIC’s world class management team and their success in expanding the business into new premium market segments, significantly upgrading products and service offerings, and generating outstanding business growth over the last few years. EIC is now well positioned to capture future opportunities in the rapidly expanding overseas education industry,” said Hans Wang, partner at CVC in Hong Kong.
NLD Investment is a leading China based private equity fund with total assets under management of over RMB 10 billion. The firm’s strategy is to invest in companies managed y top-notched management teams and leverage our capital market strength to help companies to achieve next stage of growth. The firm invests in various industries including TMT, consumer brands, retail, education and environmental protection, across China and other Asian markets.
CVC Capital Partners is one of the world’s leading private equity and investment advisory firms. Founded originally in 1981 as the European arm of Citicorp Venture Capital, CVC today has a network of 24 offices and over 300 employees throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. To date, CVC has secured commitments of over US$79 billion in funds from a diverse and loyal investor base, completing over 300 investments in a wide range of industries and countries across the globe, with an aggregate transaction value of over US$120 billion. The firm is headquartered in Luxembourg.