12/19/2021 at 08:31 CET

Araceli Munoz

British fund CVC Capital Partners wishes to acquire MIR Asturias, one of the main centers in Spain for the preparation of internal resident doctor (MIR) oppositions, as various financial sources have confirmed to El Periódico de España. Passing this exam, which more than 14,000 people take part in a year, is the prerequisite for being able to practice in the national public health sector. This type of preparation has a cost between 3,200 and 3,800 euros depending on the modality chosen by the student. The same sources indicate that is not the only investor venture capital firm that investigated the purchase of this Asturian company, the second nationally in number of students per year behind CTO.

English universities, colleges, vocational training centers or academies They were the result of corporate operations promoted by venture capital, which saw in Spanish private education a good business niche to which to devote resources and with a constant flow of money.

MIR Asturias is not the only educational center focused on the training of future doctors that has aroused the interest of investors. Just three months ago, the Almirall founders’ fund (the Gallardo family), G Square, took over the entire Amphi group, owner of the Amir Academy, the third school for undergraduate MIR students, after a sales process against other major venture capitalists, managers like Bridgepoint or Pai Partners, among others, who came to offer 350 million euros. In the meantime, other investors have also approached the crown jewel of the sector, the CTO academy, but the owners don’t want to sell for the moment.

Another of the most significant examples in Spain of the commitment to health education It is that of Metrodora Education, the platform set up by the national Magnum Capital fund to create a leading group in this business niche. It includes companies such as Cesif (education for pharmacists), ISEP (clinical psychology, neurosciences, pedagogy and speech therapy) and Ceep (professional training focused on the health sector). In fact, the first – Cesif – also attempted to buy CVC months before it ended up in Magnum’s hands.

The experts consulted by this journal stress that the interest in this type of business lies in the good profitability they offer in the heat of high incomes (Students preparing for these types of exams spend significant amounts of money on quality education that allows them to pass the exam) which are maintained on a recurring basis, as the number of students preparing for MIR or other types of health professions tends to increase gradually from year to year.

Education has become a haven for investors due to its countercyclical character, which the pandemic has shown, at the same time as online training is gaining more and more weight. For this type of center, in turn, the entry of this type of investors is very interesting because they obtain a sufficient financial lung to be able to develop new tools to increase the quality of education.

Founded three decades ago, MIR Asturias was born from the hand of two doctors: Jaime Baladrón and Belén Aldecoa in Oviedo. Subsequently, the company expanded in different Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Seville, Valencia, Pamplona, ​​Santiago de Compostela and Bilbao. Total, In this academy, about 45,000 students have been prepared for this competition in Spain since 1988. Plus, they not only offer their classes in person, but can be done online as well. This second option has grown with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced students to resort to this alternative in the harshest months of confinement.

The CVC bet

The British fund, which has more than $ 97,000 million (around € 86,000 million, approximately, at current rate) in assets under management, started its educational project in Spain in early 2019 with the acquisition of the ‘Alfonso X El Sabio University. , for which he spent around 1,100 million euros. This operation comes after losing the auction against Permira a few months ago to control another of the large private university education groups in Spain: Laureates School, owner of the famous European University, for which the fund has disbursed 770 million d ‘euros. At this moment, a fight broke out over private universities in Spain, who saw in these investors an interesting way to obtain resources to continue to develop their business, both nationally and internationally. Permira, for its part, bought the Garrigues study center months later.

Return to HVAC, the management company controlled in Spain by Javier de Jaime made three other acquisitions in the country: the Higher Institute of Vocational Training in Health Claudio Galeno; the school specializing in accredited online courses for healthcare professionals, Pupilum; and The Valley Digital Business School, a digital training center for business, marketing, and headhunters, among others. This company also has its own venture capital manager focused on the world of venture capital and startups.

This strategy of buy companies and then fatten them with acquisitions of other companies in the sector Smaller and complementary (called buy & build) is very common in venture capital, which sees a way to create a platform for a certain company by taking advantage of synergies while achieving higher capital gains at the time. of the assignment. In the education sector, CVC Capital Partners has completed other similar transactions around the world. For example, in Italy it owns Multiversity, owner of the largest online university in the transalpine country: Universitá Telematica Pegaso and Mercatorum University.

As in the case of Spain, its commitment to education in Italy dates back to 2019. On the other hand, the British venture capital manager is also a shareholder of Gems Education, the leader in private education in the United States. United Arab Emirates and one of the major global groups in the K-12 segment (primary and secondary). Indeed, for this type of educational center, the appearance of an international fund in their shareholding is very interesting because they gain access to a global network of knowledge and lay the foundations for develop its international expansion while discovering other teaching methods.

Who is CVC?

The British CVC Capital Partners is one of the most experienced funds in Spain, having participated in very diverse companies such as Naturgy, CLH, Deoleo or Cortefiel (now Tendam). Hand in hand with Javier de Jaime, his manager in the Iberian Peninsula, recently signed one of the most high profile operations in recent years: the agreement to retain part of the rights to La Liga. However, many of the fund’s investments have not been without controversy, such as that of the Lecta stationery (which ended up in the hands of bondholders) or that of Tendam (which has had difficult times since its first investment).