Brookfield-led consortium signs deal to invest in GEMS Education

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Deal signed to invest in GEMS Education
Rep. Image | Courtesy: GEMS Education

A consortium led by Brookfield Asset Management has signed an agreement to invest in GEMS Education, an international education company and one of the world’s largest private school operators.

The consortium, which also includes Gulf Islamic Investments, Marathon Asset Management, and the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, has entered into a binding agreement to invest in GEMS, partnering with the Varkey Group.

The company said in a statement that the completion of the transaction is expected in the third quarter of 2024 and is conditional on the satisfaction of certain conditions by all parties. GEMS Education was advised by deNovo Partners, Goldman Sachs and Varkey Group was advised by Westgrove Partners.

Sunny Varkey, Founder of GEMS, stated that, “GEMS has experienced significant growth over our 65-year history and has become one of the world’s most respected education companies. As a long-term, operationally focused investor, Brookfield’s partnership with the family and the GEMS community demonstrates the breadth of the business, the quality of the education, and the critical infrastructure that we deliver for the UAE.”

“The investment in GEMS marks a milestone for Brookfield and our private equity business in the Middle East, underscoring our commitment to investing in this high-growth region and the strength of our local partnerships,” noted Jad Ellawn, Managing Partner and Regional Head, Middle East, Brookfield.

GEMS has grown from a single school, following the arrival of the founding family as teachers in Dubai in 1959, to become one of the world’s largest providers of private K-12 education, educating 140,000 students. The Company offers various international school curricula across multiple price points, with adjacent services including school transportation and after-school activities.

GEMS has simultaneously secured financing commitments from a consortium of UAE banks to finance the transaction, including funding the repayment of GEMS’ existing financing arrangements, as per the statement.

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