HT Media buys out partner Apollo Global’s stake in education JV
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Media firm HT Media Ltd is buying out the entire stake of US firm Apollo Global Inc in their joint venture (JV) educational services firm in an all-cash deal, the company said in a stock market disclosure.

HT Media, which publishes Hindustan Times and Mint newspapers, will initially buy 49% of Apollo Global's stake in India Education Service Pvt. Ltd (IESPL) for Rs 58 crore (around $8.96 million), the firm said.

The remaining 1% stake held by Apollo Global will be transferred to HT Media after five years, it said.

The transaction, which is not subject to any government or regulatory approvals, will be completed by the end of June, it added.

The 50:50 joint venture was formed in December 2011

to provide educational services and programmes across the country

IESPL currently runs and manages Bridge School of Management with two centres in Noida and Gurgaon. The centres provide various online as well as in-person professional certificate programmes, including predictive business analytics, general management and project management.

HT Media’s revenues from operations for the March quarter fell 7.7% to Rs 583.31 crore from Rs 631.58 crore in the same quarter the previous year. Its net profit declined to Rs 43.97 crore in the quarter from Rs 58.49 crore in the same period last year, it said.

HT Media, along with its subsidiaries, is primarily engaged in the publishing business. It made its foray into the education space with the launch of StudyMate, a chain of tuition centres in Delhi for 9th to 12th standard students.

The education sector has seen a lot of investor activity in the past years.

In March, private equity firm Gaja Capital-backed CL Educate listed on the stock exchanges.

CL Educate, which is best known for its test prep brand Career Launcher, was the first education services company to float an IPO in five years. MT Educare Ltd was the last education company to float an IPO, with a Rs 35-crore public offering in March 2012.

CL Educate also acquired the 49% stake it didn’t already own in educational services provider Accendere Knowledge Management Services Pvt. Ltd early in April.

In 2013, UK-based education services provider and media group Pearson Plc had acquired Educomp Solutions Ltd’s 50% stake in IndiaCan, a vocational training company formed as a joint venture between the two firms in 2009.

Interestingly, CL Educate also signed a pact early this year to acquire ETEN, which is the test prep unit of coaching services provider IndiaCan Education.

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