The Abraaj Group (‘Abraaj’ or ‘The Group’), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, today announced its submission of a tender offer to acquire, through one of its Funds, a stake in Cairo Investment and Real Estate Development (‘CIRA’ or the ‘Company’), which is listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX).
CIRA provides high quality, affordable education to the Egyptian market, and is the largest K-12 private schools group in Egypt, with over 17 owned and operated schools under the widely-recognized ‘Future Schools’ brand. The schools offer the English language national curriculum as well as the American, French and German systems.
CIRA is seeking to expand its school offering nationally, with the intention to accelerate the schools roll out outside the main Cairo area, while remaining focused on providing affordable education services to Egyptian families. As part of its commitment to develop the national education sector, CIRA also offers free online education materials in K-12 focused on subjects such as Math and Science. CIRA is in the construction phase of Badr University, which aspires to be a leader in tertiary education over the coming years. The first phase of the University is expected to start in September 2014, with the following phases to commence over the next three to five years.
Abraaj continues to invest in resilient industry sectors such as education and will draw on its own significant expertise in the education sector, including its former investment in one of the world’s leading K-12 education providers, GEMS Education, and its current holding in the market leader for English language education service provision in Singapore. Abraaj’s successful experience in the private education sector will assist CIRA to scale its operations across Egypt, while focusing on education quality and delivery across its school portfolio. As a growth focused investor, Abraaj will support the company in implementing a robust expansion plan, while continuing to improve organizational practices and corporate governance.
Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Head of MENA at The Abraaj Group, said: “Affordable quality education is in high demand, with Egypt’s K-12 market comprising 18.3 million students, growing at an impressive CAGR of 3.25 per cent over the past four years. This investment is a unique opportunity for us to support a dynamic and growing company in an important industry, with solid prospects for improvement and expansion. It will also facilitate the provision of widespread and affordable education.”
Walid Bakr, Director at The Abraaj Group, added: “We look forward to partnering with CIRA in their quest to expand the reach of affordable and high quality education in Egypt. Building on Abraaj’s longstanding experience and global network, our partnership will enable the transfer of best practice, and ensure capacity building to drive scale, creating a strong foundation to facilitate the sustainable growth of the business.”
Dr Hassan El Kalla, Chairman of CIRA, further commented: “The education sector is a key pillar of Egyptian economic growth, particularly that which focuses on the largely underserved mass market segment, which represents almost 70 per cent of the Egyptian population. Given Abraaj’s expertise in the global education sector, we are confident that they are the ideal partner for us to continue providing both affordable and world class education opportunities to the Egyptian people.”