Gopal Jain, managing partner of Gaja Capital.
Gopal Jain, managing partner of Gaja Capital.

KKR acquires stake in Gaja-backed EuroKids

  • Firm invests in education service provider from its Asian Fund III
  • EuroKids will be managed by its team of experienced educators and management

KKR & Co. Inc. on Thursday said it has bought a majority stake in education services provider EuroKids International Pvt. Ltd from its existing investor consortium led by Gaja Capital.

Having launched its first pre-school in 2001, EuroKids is one of India’s largest education services providers in the pre-school and kindergarten to class 12th (K-12) segments. Its portfolio brands, including EuroKids, EuroKids DayCare, Kangaroo Kids, EuroSchool and Billabong International, serve more than 120,000 students from 1,115 pre-schools and 35 K-12 schools across five countries.

KKR has made the investment from its Asian Fund III, which is a $9.3 billion fund focused on investments in private equity transactions across the Asia Pacific region. EuroKids was founded by Prajodh Rajan and Vikas Phadnis.

EuroKids will continue to be managed by its team of experienced educators, administrators and management team led by co-founder and group CEO Rajan, who will also remain a shareholder in the company, KKR said in a statement. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The desire for high-quality educational services is at an all-time high in India. The country has over 125 million children in the two-to-six age range, as well as the largest K-12 population in the world at 320 million people," said Ajay Candade, director at KKR. KKR plans to grow the portfolio of brands under EuroKids via both organic and inorganic routes and enhance its offerings and practices. It will further focus on including digital learning and tech-enabled teaching practices to expand the firm’s approach to a more holistic education model. The school franchise, the statement said, would continue adding high-quality education brands to its portfolio.

In 2013, the Gaja Capital-led consortium of investors acquired a controlling stake in EuroKids from education solutions provider Educomp Solutions. In 2017, the school-chain acquired Kangaroo Kids and Billabong High franchise.

“We are extremely proud to have partnered with co-founders Prajodh Rajan and Vikas Phadnis, along with the entire management team since our investment in 2013 to support a period of tremendous growth and development for EuroKids. This is a world-class organization—and one of India’s most well-regarded education brands—which is poised to expand rapidly in the coming years," said Gopal Jain, managing partner of Gaja Capital.

This is not the first time KKR has bet on the education sector. In 2018, it signed a binding agreement for the sale of Cognita Schools, a UK-based global private schools group in which KKR had acquired a majority stake in 2013. The school-chain, established in 2004, runs more than 70 schools across eight countries, educating more than 40,000 children

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