Brookfield Asset Management Leads Investment in Dubai-based GEMS Education
Brookfield Asset Management
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One of the world’s largest K-12 education providers has attracted investment from a Canadian-based fund manager as it prepares to open two new schools in the UAE this summer. A consortium led by Brookfield Asset Management has announced an agreement to become the lead investor in Dubai-based K-12 education giant GEMS Education.

GEMS and Brookfield did not disclose the size of the investment but stated in a joint announcement on June 18 that private equity firm CVC Capital Partners will exit its 30% stake in GEMS as part of the agreement.

“We are well positioned for future growth, thanks to a supportive operating environment that is driving record enrolments, underpinned by a strong UAE economy and a growing population,” said Dino Varkey, GEMS CEO. “We believe that Brookfield is the right investment partner to help us realize our ambitions as we look to the next phase of growth,” he added.

Subject to certain requirements, the transaction is likely to get completed in the third quarter of 2024, that is by September 30th.

GEMS started in 1959 as a single school in Dubai. It is presently the region’s largest private school provider, with 42 schools now operating in the UAE and Qatar, and two more opening in August 2024. It offers education across British, IB, American, and Indian curricula and recorded record enrolment exceeding 140,000 students last year.

In 2021, GEMS Education teamed with Arizona State University in the United States to provide kids with college credits while they were still in school.This August, GEMS will establish two additional schools in Dubai South and Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, bringing the total number of schools to 44.

The new school in Masdar City will have a particular focus on sustainability, both in its curriculum and in the building itself, fittingly located in Abu Dhabi’s green city, which aims to be net-zero by 2050.

The Azerbaijan State Oil Fund, Marathon Asset Management and Gulf Islamic Investments are among the other investors in the K-12 operator. GEMS also secured financing commitments from a consortium of UAE banks to finance the transaction, including funding the repayment of the company’s existing financial arrangements.

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