Permira in exclusive talks for Education First China unit carve out – report

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Private equity major Permira is reportedly in exclusive talks with language tutor business Education First for a carve out of its China operations.

The deal could value the business at $1.6bn, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The company hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to sell the business last year and would invite other private equity firms Hillhouse Capital, Boyu Capital, CVC Capital Partners and General Atlantic to join the second bidding round last month.

Permira is also said to be in talks with several banks for a financing for the potential acquisition, the people said.

The firm has planned to wait for the company’s financial reports for the first quarter of 2020 to re-negotiate the price, they added.

EF opened its first school in China in 1993 before expanding its networks to over 300 teaching centers across 60 Chinese cities.

The China-based business generated around about $100m in EBITDA last year.

In October last year, Permira pulled in €11bn for the final close of latest flagship, Permira VII.

The firm is set to receive a healthy return on its investment in Duff & Phelps after selling the consultancy to a global investor consortium led by Stone Point Capital and Further Global in a $4.2bn deal.

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