Carlyle agrees £304m education bolt-on

Carlyle-backed education investor Apollo Global has agreed to delist BBP – a UK- and Europe-based provider of education services for lawyers, accountants and the financial services sector, which is reporting increasing revenues despite the economic downturn.

US education investor Apollo Global has agreed a £303.5 million (€351.6 million; $489.7 million) take-private of the UK-based professional education provider BPP. Apollo Global is 20 percent owned by private equity firm The Carlyle Group and 80 percent owned by Apollo Group, a US-listed education investor.

The 620 pence per share offer represents a 70 percent premium over BBP’s share price at the end of April, when the takeover discussions first emerged. Since then the share price has been buoyed by the talks and closed at 567 pence per share on 5 June – the last full day of trading before the agreement was unveiled.

BPP: revenue still rising

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, BPP provides education to the legal, accounting and financial sectors, among others, from locations across the UK and Europe. The business reported a turnover of £42 million for the first quarter of 2009, representing a 4 percent increase on the same period in 2008. It is the only for-profit organisation in the UK that can award degrees.

Apollo Global was established in 2007 to invest in international education services. Last year it purchased a 65 percent stake in Carlyle Mexico Partners-owned Universidad Latinoamericana for an implied enterprise value of $47 million.

The BPP deal needs the support of 75 percent of the shareholders and is expected to close by the end of July.

BPP was advised by Hawkpoint, while Apollo was advised by Credit Suisse.