CITIC scores China education buyout

The firm has bought vocational training firm Study & Share Education from its second China fund

Chinese private equity firm CITIC Capital Partners has acquired a controlling stake in Study & Share Education Company for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

The firm, which has a number of vehicles globally that invest in businesses to capitalise on China exposure, invested from its CITIC Capital China Partners II – its second China-focused buyout fund.

Founded in Shanghai in 2004, Study & Share offers test preparation and vocational training for professionals to obtain qualification certificates in China’s construction industry.

Construction is one of the largest segments within the professional qualification test market, driven by the increasing enforcement of certification requirements in the construction industry in China, according to the firm. Moreover, the market is expected to grow at 10 to 15 percent per annum over the next five years.

Today, Study & Share operates more than 40 learning or student recruitment centres across Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

“Study & Share has successfully established itself as a leading player in a highly fragmented market. We are confident that our partnership with management will further strengthen Study & Share’s leadership as well as expand its footprint across China,” Yichen Zhang, chairman and chief executive of CITIC Capital, said in a statement.

As well as investing directly into China, CITIC has been active across its cross-border funds, too.

Earlier this month, CITIC Capital Partners sold its investment in Higashiyama Film Co, of which it owned a 96 percent stake, to strategic buyer Otsuka Chemical.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but CITIC gained between a 4 and 5 times return on its investment, having invested JPY 3 billion ($26 million; €21 million) in two tranches during 2010 and 2011, a source close to the matter told Private Equity International.