Posted on: Monday 17 September, 2012 2:23
|Al Najah Education forays in the MENA Education Sector by acquiring 100% equity stake in Horizon English School.
Al Najah Education, a UAE based investment company acquired 100% equity stake in Horizon English School, a very well reputed English Curriculum school in Jumeirah.
Al Najah Education was established with the intent to invest in the education sector in the UAE and the MENA region. It is managed by Al Masah Capital Limited (“AMCL”). AMCL is active in the private equity sector, having one of the most experienced investment teams in the region, and is led by Mr.
Shailesh Dash, the founder and CEO.AMCL also manages Healthcare MENA Limited, which in turn owns and manages seven healthcare assets in UAE and Kuwait.
Mr. Shailesh Dash, CEO of Al Masah Capital Limited and board member of Al Najah Education stated “We have the experience of operating education assets in the region for the last seven years and have always strived to add value for our stakeholders and to the respective communities through our investments.”
On the Education platform that Al Najah Education has launched, Mr. Shailesh added “Al Najah is the Arabic translation for “Success”, and this is a core principal within our team. Our MENA education platform will be rolled out in the next 2-3 years. We will focus on building four verticals i.e. nurseries, schooling, higher education and training“
Horizon English School is in operations for more than 20 years. Horizon English School has more than 500 children enrolled and has been rated “Good” by KHDA consistently. Ms. Marion Sinclair has been managing the school since its inception.
Commenting on the transaction, Ms. Marion said “we are happy to announce this deal. Al Masah Capital is a very experienced private equity company, with a solid track record”. She also added that “We are sure that Al Najah Education will be a successful education operator, and will help us in growing and expanding the Horizon School brand throughout the country and the region.”
Nrupaditya Singhdeo, Partner, Al Masah Capital and board member of Al Najah Education said “We are happy to have acquired Horizon English School. Ms. Marion will continue to manage the school as its Principal, which will ensure that its culture and ethos are maintained. We are excited to work with and support her and her team to consistently enhance the school’s quality. We also like to thank the entire team at KHDA for their support and look forward to working more closely with them in the future.”
AMCL believes that Education is one of the most promising and popular themes amongst the various investment themes that are relevant in the MENA region today. MENA education market’s size could be as high as USD75 billion with an estimated 50+ million number of students. Fast growing population, high enrolment rates, high per capita GDP, high expat population, etc all drive a high demand for quality education in the region.Also improving the quality of education has become one of the top priorities of governments in the MENA region. Countries forming a part of the MENA region (particularly the ones that are hydrocarbon rich) have realized that they would have to invest in educating their future generations in order to ensure strong economic growth.
Mr. Dash explained the geographical scope of the education platform by adding “in addition to a presence in UAE, we are currently looking to establish our base in Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. We are also targeting Saudi Arabia as the next market to enter. Our aim is to consolidate our position in the GCC and then selectively enter other MENA countries based on opportunities.”
Mr. Dash added “Some of the other initiatives we have taken include signing an MOU with TAFE Queensland. We are identifying options to start a training institute in partnership with them. We are also in discussion with several potential targets including nurseries, schools and training institutes across the MENA region.”
Al Najah Education launched its education platform operations in early 2012 and acquired Horizons English School in July 2012. The education platform was aimed to provide its clients an investment option into a recession resistant product. The platform aims to give more than 7% dividend yield per annum and an exit IRR of 30% p.a.
The investment team at Al Masah has substantive experience in the education investments sector. They invested almost AED 200 million through 2005 to 2008 in MENA education assets.