Friday, July 1

Venture capital bid for health training after acquiring VET and private universities

The British Fund CVC Capital Partners is interested in acquiring MIR Asturias, one of the leading centers in Spain for the preparation of oppositions to resident intern physician (MIR), as confirmed by different financial sources to El Periódico de España. Passing this exam, which is attended by more than 14,000 people a year, is the required requirement to be able to practice in the national public health system. This type of preparation has a cost between 3,200 and 3,800 euros depending on the modality chosen by the student. The same sources indicate that is not the only investor venture capital firm that has surveyed the purchase of this Asturian company, the second nationwide by number of students per year behind CTO.

Universities, colleges, vocational training centers or English academies They have been the result of corporate operations promoted by venture capital, which have seen in Spanish private education a good business niche to which to dedicate resources and with a constant flow of money.

MIR Asturias is not the only educational center focused on training for future doctors that has aroused the interest of investors. Just three months ago, the fund of Almirall’s founders (the Gallardo family), G Square, took over the entire Amphi Group, owner of the Amir Academy, the third school for MIR preparation students, after a process of sale against other large venture capital managers such as Bridgepoint or Pai Partners, among others, who came to offer 350 million euros. Meanwhile, other investors have also approached the jewel in the crown of the sector, the CTO academy, but the owners do not want to sell for the moment.

Another of the most significant examples in Spain of the commitment to health training It is that of Metrodora Education, the platform set up by the national Magnum Capital fund to create a leading group in this business niche. In it, it has companies such as Cesif (teaching for pharmacists), ISEP (clinical psychology, neurosciences, education and speech therapy) and Ceep (professional training focused on the health field). In fact, the first of them – Cesif – also tried to buy CVC months before ending up in the hands of Magnum.

The experts consulted by this newspaper point out that the interest in this type of company resides in the good profitability they offer in the heat of high income (Students who prepare for this type of exams spend large amounts of money for quality teaching that allows them to pass the exam) that are maintained on a recurring basis, since the number of students preparing for the MIR or for other types of health professions tends to increase progressively from year to year.

Education has become a haven for investors because of its anti-cyclical character, something that the pandemic has shown, at the same time that online training is gaining more and more weight. For this type of center, in turn, the entry of this type of investors is very interesting because they obtain sufficient financial lung to be able to develop new tools to increase the quality of teaching.

Founded three decades ago, MIR Asturias was born by the hand of two doctors: Jaime Baladrón and Belén Aldecoa in Oviedo. Subsequently, the company has grown in different Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Seville, Valencia, Pamplona, ​​Santiago de Compostela and Bilbao. Total, In this academy, around 45,000 students have been prepared for this competition in Spain since 1988. In addition, they not only offer their courses in person, but can also be done online. This second option grew with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced students to use this alternative in the hardest months of confinement.

CVC’s bet

The British fund, which has more than 97,000 million dollars (about 86,000 million euros, approximately, at the current rate) in assets under management, began its educational project in Spain at the beginning of 2019 with the acquisition of the Alfonso X University El Sabio, for which it disbursed around 1,100 million euros. This transaction came after losing the auction against Permira months ago to control another of the large private university education groups in Spain: Laureates School, owners of the well-known European University, for which the fund paid 770 million euros. At that time, a fight broke out over private universities in Spain, who saw in these investors an interesting way to obtain resources to continue growing their business, both nationally and internationally. Permira, for its part, bought the Garrigues study center months later.

Back to CVC, the management company controlled in Spain by Javier de Jaime has closed three other acquisitions in the country: the Claudio Galeno Higher Institute of Health Professional Training; the school specialized in accredited online courses for healthcare professionals, Pupilum; and The Valley Digital Business School, a digital training center for the world of business, marketing and headhunters, among others. This company also has its own venture capital manager focused on the world of venture capital and startups.

Related news

This strategy of buy companies and then fatten them up with acquisitions of other companies in the sector Smaller and complementary (called buy & build) is very common in venture capital, which see a way to create a platform for a certain business taking advantage of synergies while obtaining higher capital gains at the time of divestment. In the education sector, CVC Capital Partners has carried out other similar transactions worldwide. For example, in Italy he owns Multiversity, the owner of the largest online university in the trans-Alpine country: Universitá Telematica Pegaso, and Mercatorum University.

As in the case of Spain, its commitment to education in Italy dates back to 2019. On the other hand, the British venture capital manager is also a shareholder of Gems Education, the leader in private education in the United Arab Emirates and one of the the large groups worldwide in the K-12 segment (primary and secondary). In fact, for this type of educational center, the appearance of an international fund in their shareholding is very interesting because they access a global network of knowledge and lay the foundations for develop international expansion while discovering other teaching methods.

Reference-www.elperiodico.com

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