August Equity makes maiden education investment and first outlay from new fund

Mid-market investor August Equity has made a first play from its August Equity Partners III by adding an education business to its portfolio.

Minerva Education has been backed by August Equity through an undisclosed transaction so that it can grow as an operator of independent day schools.

Minerva Education consists of Eaton Square School Group and Ravenstone School, and is led by CEO Tommy MacDonald-Milner and chairman Elaine Simpson.

The investment has been made from the firm’s August Equity Partners III fund, which closed in 2012.

Eaton Square School Group consists of sites in Chelsea, Pimlico, Belgravia and Knightsbridge – where it has a combined 650 pupils. Ravenstone School provides pre-prep and prep education from locations in South Kensington and Marble Arch.

With the investment from August Equity, Minerva says it will be developing and growing as an operator of independent day schools. According to the business, its management team has a ‘track record’ in private equity-backed education companies.

MacDonald-Milner comments, ‘I am thrilled to be working with August Equity to help deliver our vision of creating a group which will provide the highest quality of education in a traditional style to all pupils, allowing children to maximise their potential and achieve the best possible outcomes.’

August Equity has now closed three investments in 2013, with the two others involving the sale of 4Projects to a US trade buyer and an investment in social care business Compass. Back in October 2012, the investment organisation also secured the sale of Enara through a £111 million deal with MITIE Group.

More on August Equity deals:

The private equity firm, which has £300 million under management, makes investments in the health, care, pharma, technology services and education sectors.

Aatif Hassan, partner at August Equity, says that the backing of Minerva is the firm’s first in the education sector.

He adds, ‘We have tracked the progress of ESS and Ravenstone for a number of years which enabled us to complete an off-market transaction.

Going forward, August Equity has a ‘strong pipeline’ of investment opportunities set to be announced in the coming months, says managing partner Philip Rattle.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

Related Topics