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 06:55:59 in WalesThere is one week to go before world leaders descend on Wales for the 2014 Nato summit at Newport's Celtic Manor.
At 06:47:23 in Northern IrelandA call for more funding for the arts because of its importance to society has been made by the Arts and Disability Forum.
At 06:30:56 in Northern IrelandEvery year, 13 children with heart defects in Northern Ireland die before they reach school age, according to the British Heart Foundation.
At 06:24:05 in EnglandThe birth of twin East African bongo antelopes is "fantastic news" for the "critically endangered" species, say conservationists.
At 06:22:35 in Northern IrelandA former professor of dentistry has lost his case for unfair dismissal brought against Queen's University.
At 06:07:51 in ScotlandMore than 200 business figures have signed an open letter backing Scottish independence.
At 05:55:32 in HeadlinesUS police say Equatorial Guinea's ambassador is suspected of beating a girl with a wooden chair leg but won't be arrested because he has diplomatic immunity.
At 05:52:40 in HeadlinesIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to launch a plan to provide a bank account for every household, in a landmark initiative to help the poor.
At 05:49:38 in HeadlinesMany papers point the finger at officials in Rotherham over their failure to prevent organised child abuse over a period of 16 years, and wonder why no-one has lost their job as a result.
At 04:22:03 in EnglandA campaign which was key to gaining equality for Bristol's black and ethnic minorities is to be remembered with a new plaque.
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 28th Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
More than 200 business figures have signed an open letter backing Scottish independence.
There is one week to go before world leaders descend on Wales for the 2014 Nato summit at Newport's Celtic Manor.
A crew member on an US police reality TV show has been shot and killed after Nebraska police opened fire on a robbery suspect.
British number one Andy Murray and German qualifier Matthias Bachinger will take centre stage in the night session at the US Open on Friday.
The UK is "deeply elitist" according to new analysis of the backgrounds of more than 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders.
The birth of twin East African bongo antelopes is "fantastic news" for the "critically endangered" species, say conservationists.