After buying out Kerala’s test preparatory service provider Tandem, the Manipal Education and Medical Group says it will continue to shop around for acquisition opportunities. 

Talking to VCCircle, Meena Ganesh, CEO, Manipal K-12 Education (part of MEMG), said, the company was looking for lucrative options for acquiring other such institutes in India. In fact, the company has a warchest of $18 million, raised from Pearson and parent Manipal, to pursue inorganic growth options. 

The group has followed an extensive M&A strategy to deepen its footprint in education. In May 2007, MEMG picked up over 40% stake in MeritTrac, a skills assessment and testing firm for around Rs 30 crore. In December 2008, it acquired the entire shareholding of American University of Antigua (AUA) from New York-based Greater Caribbean Learning Resources. It has also entered into a strategic partnership with, an online tutoring company targeting the US and UK markets, in 2008.  

While the Tandem deal will give Manipal K-12 a further reach in the South Indian market, the company has also set its sights on launching in north and west India in the next year. Manipal K-12 acquired Tandem for an undisclosed amount. Tandem has 39 centers in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and one centre in Dubai. Tandem, which has a capacity to train over 12,000 students, offers learning and preparatory services from high school to corporate training level. Manipal K-12 operates a chain of 30 Edurite tutorial centers in Karnataka and six in Kerala. The chain offers coaching for high school and entrance examinations. 

Ganesh says, Manipal K-12 has a lot of exposure in test preparation as well and in areas of undergraduate and post graduate programmes, while the Dubai centre will help the company expand its presence globally. “Tandem has a very large pool of technology-based programmes in both digital literacy and certification courses. Besides, it offers competitive coaching programmes for Bank PO and other officer level recruitments for government services. We have now a line of products in our fold,” she added. 

Centrum Capital was the sole advisor on this transaction.

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