The auction of French schools network business AD Education has been pre-empted early this morning by Ardian, according to sources.
AD Education was marketed at approximately €35 million EBITDA. Incumbent lender Barings — which is very keen to remain the lender in the company — is battling against a bank underwrite, sources said, who added that the banks involved are Bank of Ireland, ING, Natixis, HSBC and Societe Generale. A small syndication could then ensue, one of the sources said.
Other private equity funds such as BC Partners, Wendel, TA Associates and even infra funds were looking at the sale, it was reported.
The parties involved could not be reached for comment.
Lazard is conducting the sale. In 2016, Cathay Capital and BPI France acquired a minority stake in the company, while Chairman Kevin Guenegan remained the majority shareholder.
AD Education is a network consisting of schools in France and Italy with nearly 4,000 students on nine campuses. The company offers professional training courses focused on perfume, design, graphic arts, communication, digital and crafts. The member schools of the network are the Ecole Supérieure du Parfum, the School of Condé, IAAD, the Higher School of Digital, the Higher School of Advertising, the EAC, National Institute of Gemology, the ECV and the ECV Digital.