Gulf Capital Invests $30m In GCC School Operator EKI

The investment is expected to help Evolvence Knowledge Investments Limited (EKI) to expand its offerings in the region.



Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Gulf Capital said that it has completed a $30 million investment in private schools operator Evolvence Knowledge Investments Limited (EKI) through its regional fund Gulf Credit Partners.

EKI operates a number of private schools and nurseries across the GCC including Repton School Dubai, which is run in partnership with the UK-based campus.

Khaled Almheiri, the co-founder and chairman of EKI said that the investment will help the company to achieve “its growth plans and expand its education platform across the region”.

The school operator did not disclose further details on how the investment will be channeled.

The GCC’s education sector is primed for strong growth, buoyed by a growing population, rising income levels along with a strong governmental push to improve education and increase private sector participation in the sector.

According to a recent report from Alpen capital, the GCC is expected to experience a recurring spend of $150 billion in its education sector over the next few years.

The total number of schools in the region is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.4 per cent from 2013 to 2020. The total number of students in the region is expected to reach 13.7 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of three per cent over the same period, the report said.

The UAE specially is experiencing strong growth in its education sector with enrolment rates in private schools surging in the last few years, Gulf Capital said in a statement.

The total number of students in the private sector grew at an annual average rate of 8.6 per cent, according to data from the Ministry of Education and the National Bureau of Statistics.

“EKI’s positioning in the defensive and fast growing education sector as well as its sound strategy and experienced management team are strongly aligned with our fund’s strategy,” said Karim El Solh, chief executive officer of Gulf Capital.

“Gulf Capital has been an active investor in defensive sectors such as power, water, healthcare and food and this latest investment in education will complement our existing portfolio of defensive investments.”