Brookfield Leads Investor Group in Dubai's GEMS Education Acquisition

Dubai's GEMS Education, one of the world's largest private K-12 education providers, is poised for a significant investment boost. A consortium led by Canadian investment giant Brookfield Asset Management has signed a binding agreement to acquire a stake in the company. The deal, expected to close in the third quarter of 2024, underscores the growing appeal of the education sector in the Middle East and GEMS's strong market position.

GEMS, founded in 1959, has grown from a single school in Dubai to an international education powerhouse. Today, it caters to over 140, 000 students across multiple curricula and price points. The company's offerings encompass a wide range of educational services, including transportation and after-school activities.

Brookfield, with over $925 billion in assets under management, is a major player in alternative investments. The company's decision to invest in GEMS reflects its confidence in the growth potential of the education sector, particularly in the Middle East. Jad Ellawn, Brookfield's Managing Partner and Regional Head for the Middle East, highlighted the attractiveness of GEMS's "market leadership, stable cash flows, and growth potential. "

The consortium led by Brookfield also includes Gulf Islamic Investments, Marathon Asset Management, and the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan. The transaction details remain undisclosed, but previous reports suggested an investment of around $2 billion by Brookfield.

GEMS is optimistic that the investment will fuel its future expansion plans. Dino Varkey, Group Chief Executive of GEMS, pointed to the "supportive operating environment that is driving record enrolments" as a key factor for growth. He also emphasized the strong UAE economy and the region's growing population as positive indicators for the education sector.

The investment by the Brookfield-led consortium is a significant development for GEMS Education. The additional capital will enable the company to expand its reach, invest in new facilities and educational programs, and solidify its position as a leader in K-12 private education. The deal also underscores the growing interest of international investors in the education sector of the Middle East, a region experiencing rising demand for high-quality private education.

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