TPG acquires TSL Education

The US firm will become the education provider’s third private equity owner, in a deal understood to be worth £400m.

TPG is to buy TSL Education, a UK digital education business, from Charterhouse Capital Partners

No financial details were disclosed for the transaction, but the deal is thought to be worth around £400 million (€462 million, $595 million). It is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. 

Based in London, TSL provides networking and teaching tools to educators in Europe, America and emerging markets. TES Connect, its flagship brand, is the largest single-professional network in the world, with 2.6 million members in 197 countries. TSL also hosts a number of resources-sharing websites, organises education-related events and publishes a number of magazines, including the Times Educational Supplement. 

TPG will become the third buyout firm to own the company in less than 10 years. Originally part of News International, it was then bought out by its management in 2005, in a £235 million deal backed by Exponent Private Equity. Charterhouse acquired the business in 2007.

TPG is to raise £250 million of debt to finance the acquisition, including £170 million in senior leveraged loans, according to reports. It hopes to grow the company by increasing its penetration within the education sector and boosting its digital capabilities. 

The deal follows other high-profile transactions in the sector in recent months, including the $2.5 billion takeover of McGraw-Hill Education by Apollo Global Management’s last November and the $650 million acquisition of EmbanetCompass by publishing group Pearson last October. 

TPG is currently investing from its sixth global buyout vehicle, which closed on $18.87 billion in 2008. The vehicle is now close to 75 percent invested, according to reports.

The firm is expected to launch Fund VII, with a target of between $8 billion and $12 billion, later this year. 

PEI recently met TPG co-founder David Bonderman for an in-depth interview on the situation in Europe, the firm's future and the importance of ESG. Magazine subscribers can click here to read the full story.