Education tycoon to sell foreign student business

Wed, 09 May 2018

A businessman who made his name in the education industry is lining up the sale of his latest venture, which helps universities find overseas students and sells spaces on courses to them.

Andrew Colin is actively looking for a buyer for INTO University Partnerships, a company he founded in 2005. He has enlisted the help of investment house Deutsche Bank to help consider “strategic options” after being offered several takeover deals, according to the Times.

Colin currently owns around 75 per cent of the company, with the remaining stake belonging to senior staff and a US investor.

The sale could see Colin bring in £300 million in what would be the second lucrative payout in his career: in 1999, he sold his previous company the Study Group to the Daily Mail and General Trust for a reported £44 million.

Like INTO, the Study Group also helped foreign students gain admission to UK universities, particularly by helping them prepare for entrance tests.

INTO itself is most concerned with establishing joint ventures with universities, helping to finance new campus buildings and selling spots on popular courses to overseas students.

The company, which is headquartered in Brighton, reported pre-tax profits of £16.6 million in the last financial year – up from £8.6 million in the year prior.

Leeds Equity Partners, a New York-based venture fund, took a £66 million stake in INTO, valuing the whole company at £266 million.

Since then, the company has extended its work to include more UK universities as well as some abroad, particularly in the US. It was also reported that Deutsche Bank are considering a range of “acquisition opportunities” available to the company going forward.


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