Sovereign appoints two new Chairmen to the Portfolio


Sovereign Capital, the UK private equity Buy & Build specialist, is pleased to announce that it has appointed two new chairmen to the portfolio. James Alexandre has been appointed as Chairman of World Class Learning (WCL) and Gerry Higgins joins Euro Environmental Group (EEG).

James Alexandre brings a wealth of experience as a director of growing businesses in the US and the UK. He was President and CEO of DLJ International (London) and subsequently CEO of CSFB’s operations in Japan. He then began a successful career as a private equity investor with stakes in technology and other high growth markets. He has had oversight roles with several leading educational institutions in the United States, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Arts and Sciences Foundation for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Gerry Higgins is a highly experienced senior executive who has held board positions in both Technical and CEO roles. He has a broad level of international experience in business to business technical service provision and an extensive track record in delivering growth, both organically

and by acquisition, having grown Bodycote Testing Group, an international group of testing laboratories, from £6m sales to £230m sales.

The businesses

Sovereign backed the £34m management buy-out of WCL, the London-based international British schools group, in April 2008. Since then WCL has grown internationally through the creation of new campuses, expanding existing facilities and the acquisition of International College Spain. The College is a leading English language co-educational day school in Madrid which offers its 700 students a high quality education from nursery to grade 12. Since the original transaction, WCL’s earnings have more than trebled.

In February 2010 Sovereign led the management buyout of EEG, a Scottish-based provider of drain and sewer jetting, cleaning, inspection (CCTV) and repair services to corporate, local authority and water utility clients. In the last two years EEG has acquired Future Environmental Solutions and has won a number of large industry-leading contracts with major utilities providers. EEG is now established as one of the leading players in the UK drainage

services market and continues to gain share. The business has doubled profit since the original transaction.

Commenting on the appointment, Andrew Hayden, Managing Partner, Sovereign Capital said: “James and Gerry both have strong track records of working with businesses with ambitious growth strategies. They will strengthen the management teams as we continue to support each company with Sovereign’s strategy of Buy & Build.”

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