BPEA EQT, in partnership with existing portfolio company Nord Anglia Education, to acquire IMG Academy, a leading education institution supporting over 100,000 student-athletes across its suite of sports education services
Known for its sports-led approach to holistic education and for empowering student-athletes, IMG Academy benefits from strong secular tailwinds, including a growing focus on health and wellbeing within academia and increased spending on education
With Asia being IMG Academy’s largest source of international students, BPEA EQT and Nord Anglia plan to support its overseas expansion and leverage partnership opportunities between the two institutions, including integrating IMG Academy’s sports-focused education services in Nord Anglia’s curriculum global platform spanning 33 countries
The acquisition further underscores BPEA EQT’s commitment to develop leading educational platforms and helping them expand globally, for the benefit of students, parents and teachers
EQT is pleased to announce that BPEA Private Equity Fund VIII (an affiliated investment fund of “BPEA EQT”) will acquire IMG Academy (the “Company”) from Endeavor Group Holdings (“Endeavor”). The deal reflects an enterprise value of USD 1.25 billion.
Headquartered in Bradenton, Florida, USA, IMG Academy supports the entire student-athlete development journey across its on-campus and online student-athlete education experiences. Founded in 1978, the Company provides a sports-focused boarding school, sports camps, online coaching and college recruiting, and is known for its strong outcomes from the Ivy League to professional leagues. Across its suite of sports education experiences, IMG Academy supports over 100,000 student-athletes, and helped place 30,000 students onto college sports rosters in 2022 alone.
IMG Academy is a clear leader in the large and growing sports education market. It will continue to benefit from strong secular growth drivers, including a growing focus on health and wellbeing within academia and increasing willingness to spend on education. IMG Academy’s curriculum aligns with current trends within education, where sports is a key differentiator for U.S. college admissions, both for domestic and international students.
With Asia being IMG Academy’s largest source of international students, BPEA EQT sees strong potential to support the Company’s expansion across multiple markets in the region, including Singapore, India, Vietnam, Greater China, and Indonesia. BPEA EQT plans to leverage its proven sector expertise within education and track record from having supported its existing portfolio company Nord Anglia Education’s international growth over the past 15 years.
Today, Nord Anglia operates 82 schools in 33 countries, supporting over 75,000 students globally with a unique education approach, integrating outside expertise from world-leading organizations into its curriculum. Notably, Nord Anglia has global partnerships with Juilliard to further enhance its performing arts offering, with MIT to enrich science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching and learning (STEM), and UNICEF to help develop students’ social purpose and global citizenship. Over time, Nord Anglia plans to offer IMG Academy’s sports and student wellbeing curriculum across its global network of schools, further enabling the Company’s continued effort to provide world-class holistic staff and student education experiences. Moreover, BPEA EQT plans to invest in IMG Academy’s technology and in the continued diversification of its sports offering to broaden the pool of prospective students and attract more female athletes.
Jack Hennessy, Partner and Co-Head of Education within BPEA EQT’s Advisory Team, said, “We are deeply impressed by IMG Academy’s unique offering and its world-class sports and wellbeing curriculum. IMG Academy’s brand is globally recognized and we see compelling opportunities in supporting its international expansion, including Asia, and broadening its educational offering, leveraging BPEA EQT’s insights from having led Nord Anglia Education’s growth in the region.”
Brent Richard, President of IMG Academy, said, “Our purpose is to empower student-athletes to win their future, preparing them for college and for life. We are constantly trying to raise the bar in pursuit of that purpose through our on-campus and online experiences. Simultaneously, our staff is passionate about growing the impact we have on the world, reaching more families, and helping them on their journey. BPEA EQT and Nord Anglia are ideal partners to achieve and accelerate those goals, and we are excited for that future.”
Andrew Fitzmaurice, CEO of Nord Anglia Education, said, “The learning experiences we create through our global partnerships with Juilliard, MIT and UNICEF stretch far beyond the classroom. They are designed to help our students develop important life skills that go hand-in-hand with impressive academic results so they leave our schools with everything they need for success in the future. Our partnership with IMG Academy will create an exciting new global sports programme offering outstanding experiences for our students that bring to life the importance of wellbeing, resilience, teamwork, and leadership.”
Kosmo Kalliarekos, Partner and Co-Head of Education within BPEA EQT’s Advisory Team, concluded, “We are truly excited about the opportunity to invest in IMG Academy and the possibilities to integrate its sports-focused curriculum across Nord Anglia’s global network of schools. This acquisition brings together a world-class sports education brand and a premier education group, and it further underscores BPEA EQT’s commitment to developing leading school platforms and help them expand across Asia and beyond, for the benefit of students, their parents, and teachers.”
The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals. It is expected to close in Q3 2023.
BPEA EQT was advised by Deloitte (Financial & Tax), Oliver Wyman (Commercial), and Ropes & Gray (Legal).
With this transaction, BPEA Private Equity Fund VIII is expected to be 20-25 percent invested (including closed and/or signed investments, announced public offers, if applicable, and less any expected syndication).