The sale process for the college began at the end of last year and reportedly attracted interest from Providence Equity Partners, Palamon Capital Partners and a consortium comprising Exponent Private Equity and Sovereign Capital.
It is understood that the sale 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 in January 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.
As part of the deal, Montagu has agreed to establish a College Scholarship Fund with an investment of £2m for the benefit of the college’s students. The firm will also place two per cent of the fully diluted share capital in the ultimate holding company of the college into the scholarship fund, it said.
Proceeds from the sale will contribute to a “significant” fund, in excess of £200m, which the charity will use to promote the advancement of legal education, the college said in a statement released today.
In 2009 Apollo Global Management bought College of Law rival BPP Holdings in a public to private deal worth £303.5m (€352m).
Bowkett has been appointed as a director of Montagu Private Equity Associates, the mid-market investor’s advsiory arm, to advise the firm on its future investments, according to a source familiar with the matter.
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