Sovereign Capital invests to grow Greenwich School of Management


Sovereign Capital, the UK private equity Buy & Build specialist, today announces it has invested in Greenwich School of Management (“GSoM”), a leading private-sector provider of University-accredited Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral Programmes in Business, Law and Management.

Based in Greenwich, London, GSoM was established in 1973 and today has over 1,500 students. It has strong partnerships with the University of Plymouth and the University of Wales and has been an accredited degree provider since 1991. In addition to degrees, GSoM also offers a selection of travel and tourism courses and professional diplomas.

The college has a strong reputation for offering quality, affordable education and demand for its courses has increased significantly, with student enrolment doubling from 2007 to 2010. It has a high completion rate and an excellent reputation for graduate employment, with an alumni employment rate of nearly 90%.

Alongside offering full-time and part-time degrees, GSoM is one of only a limited number of providers in the UK to offer accelerated or ‘Fast-Track’ two-year degrees. With the rise in tuition fees due from 2012, the savings to students of undertaking a Fast Track, rather than three-year, degree will increase markedly.

Dr William Hunt, Principal, will continue with GSoM and will be joined by Paul Brett as Group Chairman and Alex Sheffield as Finance Director. Paul Brett has worked in the education sector for over 25 years; previously Chief Executive of leading independent schools group and Sovereign Capital investment, Alpha Plus and a former Director at Serco where he developed Serco Learning.

Additional finance for the transaction has been provided by Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Acquisition Finance and Sovereign has committed further funding to develop GSoM through its Buy & Build strategy.

Dr Hunt commented on the acquisition: “The increasing demand for Higher Education in the UK coupled with the financial constraints placed on public sector providers offers an exciting opportunity for the Independent Sector.

There has never been a better time for Greenwich School of Management to expand its operations. With Sovereign’s investment and support the college will be well placed to become one of the UK’s largest independent providers of university management education.”

Michael Needley, Partner at Sovereign Capital commented: “Greenwich School of Management has built an enviable reputation as one of London’s leading private higher education providers. Following our investment in the Brighton and Bristol Institute of Modern Music last year, we are delighted to extend our higher education portfolio and will be working with management to develop GSoM into a multi-site higher education group with strong employer links.”

For further information please contact: Julie Sieger, Sovereign Capital, on +44 (0)20 7340 8800 or email:juliesieger@sovereigncapital.co.uk