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Kenya’s Hillcrest School Sold Out to GEMS Education For USD 25 Mn


January 10, 2019

Fanisi Capital, a private equity firm has undergone an agreement to sell Kenya’s Hillcrest Schools to Dubai-based GEMS Education for Ksh 2.6 Bn (USD 25.5 Mn), marking the latest deals in the high-end private education industry.

The involved firm joined forces with a businessman reported to be Anthony Wahome to purchase Hillcrest due to bankruptcy in 2011, paying Kenya’s Barclay’s Bank, Kenneth Matiba’s family, and other creditors Ksh 1.8 Bn (about USD 17.7 Mn)

This buyout is an indication that the PE firm and Wahome are set to book a profit no less than Ksh 800 million (about USD 7.8 Mn) from their investment which spans seven years.

Fanisi, who is a co-proprietor of the school, held a 55 percent stake in Hillcrest, while the remaining 45 is held by Wahome, who is also the owner of Nairobi-based Rose of Sharon Academy.

In an interview, a familiar source revealed that Hillcrest is being bought by GEMS for SH 2.6 Bn, and the transaction awaits approval from regulators.

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The academic deal follows a consortium spearheaded by PE firm AfricInvest which saw Brookhouse School being sold to U.K-based PEF fund Educas for Ksh. 3.6 Mn (about USD 35 Mn) in 2015, marking the occurrence of Kenya’s biggest transactions in the high-end education sector.

According to a familiar source, the buyout of Hillcrest will assist the Dubai school chain in expansion per the Kenyan market, adding to its Nairobi-based GEMS Cambridge International School.

GEMS Education is owned by a duo including Varkey Group and America’s Blackstone Group, offering elementary and secondary school education in Europe, U.S, China, Africa, and the Middle East.

Hillcrest, on the other hand, offers International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCE) at an approximate of Ksh 2.3 million (USD 22,613 K) annually.

Other schools with a similar offering include International School of Kenya, Banda, Montessori, Peponi, Kenton, Braeburn, Brookhouse and German School alongside new players such as Nova and Crawford International, all of which rake in an estimate of Ksh 1 Bn (around USD 9.8 Mn) annually.

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