GFH in $150m deal to sell assets to global private schools operator

Updated 05 December 2017
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GFH in $150m deal to sell assets to global private schools operator

LONDON: Gulf-focused investment group GFH has struck a $150 million deal to sell part of its educational assets in the GCC to global private schools operator, Inspired.
GFH’s educational portfolio in the GCC has been built over the past four years and is valued at $300 million, the company said in an announcement on Tuesday. GFH is listed in Bahrain, Kuwait and Dubai.
Inspired runs private schools in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Australia. Its chairman Nadin Nsouli said: “This agreement marks the entry point of Inspired in the region. We will evaluate other school acquisitions in the region with GFH.”
Hisham Al-Rayes, CEO of GFH, said: “Inspired’s network and experience will add significant value to the schools including offering both students and teachers opportunities to take part in exchange programs and to benefit from the latest programs to enhance the level of education.”
Inspired has schools in Italy, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, South Africa, Kenya, Australia, Colombia and Peru. GFH’s businesses include asset management, wealth management, commercial banking and real estate development.
Elsewhere, GEMS MENASA, parent company of Dubai’s largest private schools operator, GEMS Education, was reported to have chosen JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to lead a planned flotation in London next year.
GEMS, which operates more than 250 schools across 14 countries, could have a market capitalization of around $4.5-$5 billion, according to Reuters.
Listed on Nasdaq Dubai, GEMS MENSA on Monday reported stronger financial results in the year ending Aug. 31, 2017, with net profit up 2.5% at $129.6 million. Revenue rose 17.3 percent to $926.2m, while key indicator — average revenue per student — jumped 6.6 percent to $8,079 year-on-year.
GEMS also reported it had secured a $1.25 billion loan to refinance existing borrowings and support growth.


Ryanair’s Irish union extends vote on possible strike action

Updated 28 min 7 sec ago
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Ryanair’s Irish union extends vote on possible strike action

DUBLIN: Ryanair’s Irish union extended a ballot on industrial action by two weeks on Tuesday, saying its members wanted more time to consider the move, which could lead to a strike.
Europe’s biggest budget airline averted widespread strikes before last Christmas by agreeing to recognize trade unions for the first time in its 32-year history.
But the airline, which operates in 37 countries and last year carried some 130 million passengers, has since struggled to reach agreement on terms in some countries.
This has led to minor disruption in Germany and Portugal and the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) said it would ballot pilots if a new system for dealing with base allocations, promotions, and leave was not introduced.
IALPA began the ballot last week, a letter to members seen by Reuters on Monday showed and the results were due on Tuesday.
However, a memo circulated by IALPA later on Monday said it had extended the vote to July 3, giving pilots more time to consider “such an important matter” and avoiding a clash with a meeting of Ryanair’s unions across Europe organized by the European Cockpit Association.
“It is self-evident that Ryanair and its on-going disputes with pilots across Europe will be a feature on the agenda of the ECA Conference,” it said.
A spokesman for Ryanair, which this month signed its first cabin crew union recognition agreements with staff in Italy and Britain, was not immediately available for comment.