CHAMP appoints advisors for potential IPO of Study Group

The education company could reportedly raise up to A$600m from a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange, although a trade sale will also be considered.

Study Group, a portfolio company of Australian buyout firm CHAMP Private Equity, has appointed Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse for a possible initial public offering (IPO) this year on the Australian Securities Exchanges.

“While an IPO is our preferred option, we will also not rule out a possible trade sale of the business,” Arvid Peterson, Study Group’s executive chairman, said in a company statement, adding that the company had seen strong interest in the process.

The company could raise up to A$600 million ($541 million; €386 million) from a listing according to local media reports.

Study Group offers university access, English language and career education programmes across 36 campuses in the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2006, CHAMP partnered with Australian private equity and property investment firm Petersen Investments to acquire Study Group from UK media group Daily Mail & General Trust for £72 million ($116 million; €83 million). Petersen, who also heads Petersen Investments, had run Study Group before selling the company to Daily Mail and General Trust in 2004.

Study Group has also appointed Deloittes as financial advisers and Baker & McKenzie as legal advisers.

Separately, CHAMP is also considering listing another portfolio company, food retailer and distributor Manassen Foods,  according to a report in the Australian Financial Review. The company could have a market capitalisation of between A$400 million and A$450 million, stated the report. 

Australia’s IPO market has proved to offer mixed blessings to the private equity industry in recent months. The successful listings of TPG-backed Myer Group and Goldman Sachs JBWere Private Equity and Quadrant Private Equity-backed Kathmandu late last year were followed by a sustained drop in share price which may have given other firms pause for thought.