Abraaj Group, a leading markets-focused private equity firm, is in discussions to acquire Middlesex University’s overseas campus in Dubai. It would be a deal that could be worth around $55 million to $70 million, if it happens, sources familiar with the matter stated on Wednesday. Abraaj was selected by shareholders of the University campus in June 2016 as preferred bidder and invited to conduct due diligence. The campus is owned by individual investors in the UAE and operated by London’s Middlesex University. However, neither Abraaj nor Middlesex University Dubai commented on the news.
Nowadays, private universities in Dubai begin to attract the attention of private equity players. In recent years, investors have bought schools, a fast growing sector amidst a wealthy and growing population.
Middlesex University’s Dubai campus was opened in 2005 and provides a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs to over 2,500 students. As per the sources, the campus’ earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were about $6.8 million in 2015. Established in 1973-74, Middlesex University is located in Hendon, north west London, and is one of the post-1992 universities in England.
The Abraaj Group is a leading investor operating mainly in the growth markets of Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Turkey. Founded in 2002, the group has over 20 offices spread across five regional hubs in Istanbul, Mexico City, Dubai, Nairobi and Singapore, currently managing c.US$10 billion in assets globally.