14.6x / 58% IRR
UK, Netherlands, USA
Provider of pre-university education
Cambridge Education Group was a small, well-run family business, providing pre-university education and English language tuition primarily to foreign students. The company taught approximately 460 students per year across its two campuses in Cambridge and Canterbury.
The demand for UK university education was expected to increase, particularly from foreign students, many of whom could not qualify for direct entry into UK universities without supplementary education. At the same time UK universities were facing funding issues and were seeking to attract more full-fee paying students from outside the EU. CEG, with its considerable experience in sourcing and teaching foreign students and preparing them for entry into UK universities, was ideally positioned to take advantage of these trends. Using CEG as a platform, Palamon set out to create a professionally run, well capitalised and sizable player through organic growth and acquisitions.
CEG operated campuses in Cambridge, Canterbury, London and Boston and UFPs at more than 18 universities in the UK and Netherlands.
Under Palamon's ownership student numbers grew from 460 to more than 3,000, driving a five-fold increase in revenues to more than £90 million.
CEG was sold in December 2013 for £185 million resulting in overall investment returns of 14.6x invested capital and an IRR of 58%
“It is clear that Palamon were different and that they could see the opportunity. It’s no exaggeration to say that they transformed the business.”
Nick Golding, Founder of Cambridge Education Group