Baring Asia-owned Nord Anglia files for $300m IPO

Nord Anglia Education, a Hong Kong-based school operator with a presence in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America, has filed to raise up to $300 million through a US IPO. The company has been majority-owned by Baring Private Equity Asia since 2008.

According to a regulatory filing, the proceeds will be used to repay approximately $239 million in debt and partially redeem preference shares held by Baring Asia, as well as for general corporate purposes.

The private equity firm, acting through Baring Asia Private Equity Fund III and Fund IV bought UK-listed Nord Anglia through a $379 million take-private transaction.

At the time, the majority of the company’s business was in Asia, with a high concentration in China. It has since more than tripled in size, entering other markets in Asia and Europe as well as creating a foothold in the Middle East.

Through a combination of organic expansion and bolt-on acquisitions – the most recent of which was WCL Group, bought for $222 million in May 2013 to strengthen Nord Anglia’s presence in North America and the Middle East – the company now operates 27 schools, teaching children from kindergarten through the end of secondary school, or K-12 level.

As of February 2014, Nord Anglia had over 17,000 students and average revenue per student of approximately $26,600 for the 2013 financial year. Parthenon estimates that the 9,000 K-12 premium schools – defined as those charging at least $10,000 per year in fees – teaching primarily English globally generated revenues of around $58 billion in the 2012-2013 academic year.

Nord Anglia reported a pro forma loss of $16 million for the year ended August 2013, compared to an actual loss of $37.4 million the previous year. Pro forma revenue came to $323.7 million, up from $274.2 million in 2012, while adjusted EBITDA climbed from $70.2 million in 2012 to $103.4 million last year.

Schools in China and Europe accounted for the bulk of revenue, generating 36% and 33.4%, respectively.

Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are lead underwriters for the offering.