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Montagu emerges as favourite to clinch The College of Law

24 Feb 2012

Montagu Private Equity, the former buy-out arm of HSBC, has emerged as the favourite to snap up The College of Law - one of the UK’s biggest law schools – in a sale that could fetch around £150m.

According to EducationInvestor, the college was put up for sale at the end of last year. The auction has attracted interest from Providence Equity Partners, Palamon Capital Partners and a consortium comprising Exponent Private Equity and Sovereign Capital.

The sale has also attracted the attention of a number of trade buyers, including education giant and Financial Times owner Pearson and International Universities, which is currently backed by global buy-out major KKR.

Montagu is reported to be looking for a platform company from which to build a leading player in the British higher education sector, and is said to have offered a higher price than rival bidders.

The transaction is expected to be completed through a leveraged buy-out that will be financed by around £60m of debt supplied by a consortium on banks, reports last month confirmed.

The College of Law has EBITDA of around £13m to £14m, meaning that total leverage used to back the deal could be 4.5 to five times EBITDA.

In 2009 Apollo Global Management bought College of Law rival BPP Holdings in a public to private deal worth £303.5m (€352m).

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