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Safanad and Global School Management propose investments of US$200 million in the MENA education sector

Global education leader announces significant new investment at the FII 6

by The Business Pinnacle
0 comment

Safanad and Global School Management (GSM), an international education platform, announced an initial strategic investment of US$200 million in the region’s education sector and a commitment to invest notably beyond this to accomplish, manage and advance multiple charters, early, online learning, and K-12 private schools individualistically and in partnership with provincial governments. In 2014, GSM was established with Safanad as an establishing investor. It has grown to become a global market leader, serving over 50,000 learners through its 165 schools and early learning predominantly in the US, Europe, and Africa.

Safanad and GSM  in the three-day global summit

The investment was announced during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) 6, where Safanad and GSM are taking part in the three-day global summit, which sets innovation and investment in education high ranking on the FII Institution’s ‘‘Impact on Humanity’’

Acquisition and expansion of multiple schools with transactions on track

Global School Management (GSM) is finalizing transactions to acquire several schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where GSM already operates iCademy Middle East, the leading, accredited, K-12 American online school with a blended learning model based in Dubai. These acquisitions would instantly add about 10,000 additional students to the platform. GSM newly acquired BBD Education in Dubai a leading provider of professional education services and management for the expanding school market in the GCC.

International best practices

Kamal Bahamdan, Founder and CEO of Safanad, said that the company is delighted that GSM is significantly expanding its presence in the MENA region and would be announcing it during FII 6, an event that fosters growth in vital sectors such as education and where notable global education peers and innovators have gathered to discuss the future of the industry.

GSM will bring in international best practices in education and leverage its innovative technologies and capabilities across school management and expansion to help develop capacity and enhance the quality of education available in this market, Bahamdan stated.

He added saying that this milestone also outlines a section of its broader strategy to create a dedicated, regionally focused investment arm, Safanad MENA, across which it can deploy its expertise and capital into several priorities, and high-impact sectors. This is the first of multiple platforms the Safanad intends in areas where they have built market leadership in the US and Europe and can utilize its global expertise and network to replicate achievement and speed up growth regionally. Further than education, this comprises digital infrastructure and healthcare, among others.

The team is excited to begin this next phase of growth for Safanad and GSM in the MENA region and looks forward to the contributions it can make to the development of the education sector and beyond, he said.

Global student base

Ron Packard, CEO of GSM said that through its subsidiary GSM Middle East, GSM is strategically positioned to expand its presence in a fast-growing education market where students want a high-quality international education.

Packard said GSM is close to completing several transactions in the region, which would significantly grow its global student base while pursuing further acquisitions and the development of new early-learning academies and international private schools. He also hopes to serve as a strategic partner to regional governments by cooperating with them in ‘‘public-private partnership initiatives.’’

The long-term prospect for private international education

GSM sees a long-term prospect for private international education in MENA, where families demand a high-caliber education and a commitment from governments to ensure these needs are met. With a seasoned team of experts with deep local knowledge and a track record of success across continents, it further anticipates broadening entry to world-class international education for students in the region, he said.

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