PEP hires Evercore for mature tertiary investment UP Education

Indeed, PEP’s investors have already made good money on the New Zealand education play. UP was formerly part of ACG Education, and was spun out when UK-based Inspired took the bulk of ACG’s operations (a K-12 schools business) three years ago. PEP made more than its initial $190 million investment back on the ACG sale, and is now playing for super profits on the rump tertiary piece.

It has turned its attention to growing UP in Australia in the past two years, investing in new university pathways partnerships and acquiring four Australian colleges.

Looks like a duck…

The UP raising looks and feels to Street Talk – and some of PEP’s investors – like it’s another continuation fund: find a big investor to anchor the continuation fund, housing an old asset, and roll the stake over.

It remains to be seen who’s interested in buying into UP. The business’ university pathways offering is a third or fourth tier player behind Australia’s Navitas, and has been shown to potential strategic buyers in the past. They left talks convinced that UP’s vocational training arm contributes by far the bulk of the group’s earnings.

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