Jacobs Holding Completes Capital Increase in Cognita,
Partnering with BDT Capital Partners and Sofina as
Significant Minority Stakeholders
ZURICH - February 1, 2019 - Jacobs Holding AG ("Jacobs") announced today that it has successfully completed a capital increase in Cognita, a leading, global K-12 schools group, partnering with BDT Capital Partners ("BDT"), a merchant bank that provides family- and founder-led businesses with long-term, differentiated capital and Sofina SA ("Sofina"), a family run and controlled investment company. Both BDT and Sofina will serve as minority shareholders to support Cognita's growth ambitions. Jacobs acquired Cognita in October 2018 from KKR and Bregal Investments and will continue to own a majority of Cognita. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Cognita has a diverse, balanced portfolio of 72 schools, both in developed and emerging markets. Operating some of the most prestigious schools in key markets, including Southbank International School in London, The British School of Barcelona in Spain, the Stamford American International School in Singapore and International School Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Cognita currently educates more than 43,000 students in the UK, Spain, Singapore, Chile, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil and Hong Kong.
"We look forward to working alongside BDT and Sofina to help further Cognita's international expansion, bringing the Cognita model of education to more children across the world," said Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of Jacobs Holding. "BDT and Sofina hold similar values to Jacobs and a long-term commitment to helping entrepreneurs build great, lasting businesses that have the potential to be global leaders in their respective sectors. The addition of patient investors, like BDT and Sofina, will help ensure that Cognita continues to grow and delivers outstanding education for its students."
"We are delighted to be gaining new partners who share our vision and have the significant resources to enable it," said Chris Jansen, CEO of Cognita. "Together, BDT, Sofina and Jacobs share a passion for education, recognising the long-term nature of what we do and the fundamental importance of continually improving quality. Through our new partnership, we are even more confident in our ability to prepare young people for a successful future. We achieve this through a focus on academic excellence, character development and fostering a global perspective. The future investments and expertise, from all shareholders, will help further advance all the elements of a Cognita education."
"With a global platform and strong presence in attractive and growing regions, Cognita stands out as a leader in the K-12 education space," said Björn Robens, Partner at BDT Capital Partners. "We have the highest regard for Cognita's management team and their commitment to education excellence. We also value our strong and very trusted relationship with the Jacobs management and family and are pleased to be partnering with them and Sofina, all of whom share a focus on delivering long-term value to successful, leading companies."
Victor Casier, member of the Executive Committee of Sofina said, "The investment in Cognita, alongside Jacobs and BDT illustrates our strategy of building relationships and being aligned with partners for whom patience is as important as it is to us, and who recognize that sustainable value is created over the long term. We have discovered and been impressed with the focus on excellence that runs through the worldwide operations of Cognita and are looking forward to being part of the journey. The education sector is of particular interest to Sofina, both as an investment theme and as a societal challenge that, through our support for the Platform for Education and Talent, we are keen to address on a philanthropic dimension as well."
Launched in 2004, Cognita is an extraordinary family of diverse yet connected schools spanning eight countries. Cognita shares one common purpose: to create an inspiring world of education that builds self-belief and empowers individuals to succeed. With 72 schools in Europe, Latin America and Asia, Cognita employs 7,000 teaching and support staff in the care and education of more than 43,000 students. Together, Cognita schools provide a uniquely global education that goes beyond grades to develop all-round academic excellence - equipping young people with the confidence and resourcefulness that prepares them to grow, thrive and find their success in a fast-changing world. For further information about Cognita please visit: www.cognita.com
About Jacobs Holding AG
Jacobs Holding AG is a global professional investment firm based in Zurich and founded in 1994 by entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs. Jacobs Holding AG takes an entrepreneurial approach to investing in
growth, generating value by creating long-term, sustainable market leaders. Jacobs Holding AG's sole
economic beneficiary is the Jacobs Foundation, one of the world's leading charitable foundations.
Established in Zurich in 1989 by Klaus J. Jacobs and his family, the Foundation's goal is to sustainably
support future generations by improving their developmental opportunities, thus enabling them to become socially responsible members of society. The Jacobs Foundation funds research projects and
intervention programs and supports scientific institutions to bring about social changes in the area of child and youth development. Over CHF 500 million in cumulative grants has been paid out since the
Foundation's establishment in 1989. For further information about Jacobs Holding AG, please visit: www.jacobsag.ch
About BDT Capital Partners
BDT Capital Partners provides family- and founder-led businesses with long-term, differentiated capital. The firm manages more than USD 9 billion across its investment funds and an additional USD 4.6 billion of co-investments from its global limited partner investor base. The firm's affiliate, BDT & Company, is a merchant bank that works with family- and founder-led businesses to pursue their strategic and financial objectives. BDT & Company provides solutions-based advice and access to a world-class network of business owners and leaders.
Sofina is a family-owned investment company controlled by the descendants of Gustave Boël and listed on Euronext Brussels, managing its own assets representing ca. EUR 6.5 billion. Sofina aspires to be the preferred partners of entrepreneurs and families who lead growing companies by backing them with patient capital and supportive advice. It takes minority ownership positions, typically in the EUR 75 to 300 million range. Common vision and strong alignment of interests with its partners are paramount in the deployment of the strategy.
Margaret Kubicek, +447879802853
Andreas Hildenbrand, Lemongrass Communications, +41442025238
BDT Capital Partners
Jennifer Dunne, +13126607314
Amy Lester, +13125296584
Wauthier de Bassompierre, +3225510652