CPPIB, Baring PE Asia-owned Nord Anglia buys Oakridge schools
Photo Credit: Oakridge International

Hong Kong-based school chain Nord Anglia Education Inc. has entered India by acquiring People Combine Education India Initiatives Ltd's schools under the Oakridge International brand.

Nord Anglia, owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Baring Private Equity Asia, has acquired five Oakbridge K-12 schools for kindergarten to grade 12 students.

The five schools are located in Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Bengaluru and Mohali, and have a total of 7,000 students, People Combine said in a statement.

The deal will allow Oakbridge International schools to expand their offering, People Combine group chairman Tummala Naga Prasad said.

The companies did not disclose financial details but a person familiar with the transaction said that the deal size is likely to be around $200 million (Rs 1,400 crore).

The deal comes less than a year after VCCircle reported in May 2018 that People Combine had kicked off efforts to raise Rs 800-1,000 crore in order to pare debt. 

DCS Advisory was the adviser to the transaction with Nord Anglia.

Hyderabad-based People Combine was founded about two decades ago. Apart from the K-12 schools, it also runs playschools and has investment in education-technology businesses. 

Nord Anglia is present across eight countries in the Americas, Europe, China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In 2017, CPPIB and Baring Private Equity Asia took the education chain private in a deal that was valued at nearly $4.3 billion.

The deal ranks among the largest in the K-12 segment in India.

Last year, European child care group Babilou picked up a majority stake in Amelio Early Education, which is a Chennai-based pre-school and day care chain.

Before that, Eurokids International bought Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd in what was then the biggest-known domestic acquisition in the schools business.

In the ed-tech space, companies like Byju's that offer online content services via apps to school children up to grade 12 have attracted a lot of capital. South African conglomerate Naspers led a $540 million investment in Byju's two months ago. 

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