Private equity firm buys College of Law
Published: 17th Apr 2012 16:22:17
A private equity firm has bought a UK college with its own degree-awarding powers - in a groundbreaking deal for the UK's higher education sector.
The College of Law has been bought by Montagu Private Equity for an amount approaching £200m.
The college, set up as a charity, provides law courses in London and in other regional centres in England.
Nigel Savage, the college's chief executive, welcomed the takeover by this "well-resourced partner".
There had been earlier speculation that an established education firm would want to buy the college - as a way of establishing a bridgehead into the higher education market.
But the winning bidder is a London-based private equity firm, Montagu, which says it has assets worth £3.9bn under management.
The College of Law is one of five private higher education institutions with the power to award its own degrees.
Under a proposed shake-up of the UK higher education sector it was expected to become easier for new entrants into the higher education sector.
This deal will ensure there is a well-funded charity and a successful international higher education business”
But there has been uncertainty over whether such proposals would be carried forward as legislation.
This would make institutions which already have their own degree-awarding powers more valuable.
Funds from the sale will be used to set up a charitable arm - the Legal Education Foundation - which will provide scholarships and bursaries.
This will be separated from the business of selling courses through the college.
The College of Law, with its origins in the Law Society, was set up as a charitable institution in the 1960s. It has about 7,000 students.
Prof Savage described the deal as the "beginning of an exciting new era in the history of the college for all concerned".
Montagu director, Alex Dabbous, said the new owners wanted to "grow the business, enabling it to reach its full potential, and focus on delivering the highest standards of education".
The firm's investments have included telecommunications, software, airfield lighting, waste management and healthcare.
This will be the first stake in the education market.
This marks an advance of the private sector into higher education - and also highlights the perceived value of university and higher education institutions.
Universities Minister David Willetts said the buyout by Montagu was an "excellent outcome"
"This deal will ensure there is a well-funded charity and a successful international higher education business."
At 10:00:39 in Northern IrelandA priest has paid tribute to a County Down woman killed on holiday on the west African island of Cape Verde.
At 09:58:09 in BusinessThe UK's biggest sports retailer Sports Direct plans to give founder Mike Ashley a share award worth around £65m.
At 09:57:45 in SportSean Long has returned to the coaching staff at Salford Red Devils, 11 months after resigning as assistant coach.
At 09:57:16 in SportFormer England prop Trevor Woodman has returned to Gloucester to take on the role of scrum coach.
At 09:51:04 in EnglandThree men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of travelling to or supporting fighting in war zones, say Manchester police.
At 09:50:17 in SportTurkish league leaders Fenerbahce's match at Trabzonspor was abandoned on Monday after their players were pelted with objects thrown from the crowd.
At 09:41:24 in EnglandBackbarrow ironworks was in operation for more than 250 years.
At 09:37:22 in HeadlinesA journalist with British and Swedish nationality has been killed in Afghanistan.
At 09:35:49 in EnglandA 26-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital after a hit-and-run crash involving a sports car in Greater Manchester.
At 09:34:47 in ScotlandJewellery worth "many thousands of pounds" has been taken from a house in a Dumfries and Galloway village, police have said.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Private equity firm buys College of Law [Online] (Updated 17th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1422873/Private-equity-firm-buys-College-of-Law [Accessed 11th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
Three men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of travelling to or supporting fighting in war zones, say Manchester police.
Plans for a 'huge' solar farm with 65,300 electricity-generating panels in the Carmarthenshire countryside are set to be given the go ahead.
A journalist with British and Swedish nationality has been killed in Afghanistan.
Sean Long has returned to the coaching staff at Salford Red Devils, 11 months after resigning as assistant coach.
Troubled Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt Gox has won temporary bankruptcy protection in the US.
One Direction and Ed Sheeran are among more than 100 musicians offering free concert tickets to help combat poverty.