H.I.G. Capital’s Education Platform Invests in the International School of Europe
MILAN – 24 November 2014 – H.I.G. Europe (“H.I.G.”), the European arm of global private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, today announced that it has completed an investment in the International School of Europe (“ISE”), a group of leading K-12 international day schools in Italy. ISE was founded in 1957 by the Formiga family and has schools in Milan, Modena, Monza and Siena. The group offers the International Baccalaureate (“IB”) curriculum to approximately 1,500 pupils representing over 60 nationalities.
H.I.G. is partnering with Paolo and Franco Formiga who will retain an ownership stake in the group and continue to lead the Italian schools. The acquisition of ISE marks H.I.G.’s first investment in Italy and second investment in premium international K-12 education following the acquisition of the St. Gilgen International School (“StGIS”) last year. StGIS is a prestigious, international day and boarding school located in the lakeside town of St. Gilgen, near Salzburg, Austria. StGIS and ISE will form the cornerstone of the newly-branded International Schools of Europe Group, an education platform that will continue to invest in premium international schools around the world.
ISE is the largest group of international schools in Italy and has a long-established reputation for world-class teaching and academics. The International School of Milan (“ISM”), located in a newly built state-of-the art campus, is the largest and oldest school in the group. ISM has an excellent academic track record and its alumni attend many of the world’s leading universities. H.I.G. will support the continued growth of ISE, including further investments by ISE in new facilities and the planned expansion of the Modena, Monza and Siena schools. In addition, ISE will launch a bilingual Kindergarten school in the centre of Milan for children aged 2-6 in 2015. Further, the group plans to open a day and boarding school in partnership with the Juventus Football Club in Turin.
Dr. Paolo Formiga, CEO of ISE and Chairman of the newly formed International Schools of Europe Group, said: “Partnering with H.I.G. is an exciting milestone for ISE which will enable us to further expand our reach in Italy and form part of a growing group of premium international schools around the world. This will enhance the opportunities available to our students, parents and teachers and enrich our international learning community”.
Dr. Matthias Allgaier, Managing Director of H.I.G. Europe, added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Dr. Formiga and his team, who have built an impressive group of schools in Italy, and we look forward to supporting their next stage of growth. The combination of ISE’s Italian schools and StGIS creates a world-class K-12 education platform which we will continue to expand through organic growth and selected acquisitions”.
Raffaele Legnani, Managing Director of H.I.G. Europe heading up H.I.G. Europe’s activities in Italy, added: “We are delighted to be entering into this partnership and announcing our first transaction in Italy. Our focus is on backing businesses with first class management teams, strong underlying fundamentals and attractive growth potential. ISE offers all these characteristics and we look forward to completing a number of similar transactions in Italy over the coming years”.
About the International School of Europe (“ISE”)
Established in 1957 by Francesco Formiga, the International School of Europe (“ISE”) is a leading provider of international education in Italy. ISE’s principal business is its four Italian IB schools which provide English-taught international education to approximately 1,500 pupils aged 3-18. ISE’s current schools are in Milan, Monza, Modena and Siena. ISE is headquartered in Milan and employs approximately 250 people.
About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity investment firm with more than €13 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, and San Francisco in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Rio de Janeiro, H.I.G. specialises in providing capital to small and medium- sized companies with attractive growth potential. H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of profitable and well managed manufacturing or service businesses. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 80 companies with combined sales in excess of €22 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.hig.com.
* Based on total capital commitments to funds managed by H.I.G. Capital and its affiliates.