EQT Infrastructure

EQT to acquire a majority position in Universidad Europea, a leading private higher education platform in Spain and Portugal

Universidad Europea is a leading private higher education platform in Spain and Portugal, operating 12 campuses 

Increasing access to higher education is a priority for governments worldwide, with robust demand for private higher education to help complement public options in Europe and to support the employability of young graduates 

EQT to help the Company develop its position as a leading higher education player, investing into existing and new campuses and regions, and bolstering its digital initiatives

EQT is pleased to announce that the EQT Infrastructure VI fund (“EQT”) has agreed to acquire a majority position in Universidad Europea (the “Company”) from Permira, who will retain a significant minority stake in the Company.

Established in 1996, Universidad Europea is one of the largest and fastest-growing private university networks in Europe, offering high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as advanced career programs tailored to today’s job market. It offers in-person and online modalities in a wide range of fields, including in Sports, Social Sciences and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) subjects and a strong focus on its Health Studies offering which is a particularly high-demand segment.

Today, Universidad Europea has 3,400 employees and comprises a network of 54,000 students and 130,000 alumni across 12 campuses, offering more than 500 degrees and 110 new official value-add programs. It offers a premium academic model focused on experiential learning, complemented with high-quality faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technology, delivering superior student outcomes.

The tightly regulated and resilient Spanish and Portuguese private higher education markets are expected to grow over coming years, driven by demographic trends as well as demand from international students in Europe and Latin America who view Spain as an attractive destination to pursue higher education.

EQT will support Universidad Europea by investing in its existing campuses and applying its in-house digital team to enhance the Company’s online proposition for students seeking access to hybrid and remote learning models. EQT will draw upon its local presence and international expertise to support the Company in establishing campuses in new regions.

Anna Sundell, Partner within the EQT Value-Add Infrastructure Advisory team, said: “Partnering with Universidad Europa is an opportunity to invest in one of the leading higher education institutions in Europe. We have followed the Company for a long time and are deeply impressed by the high quality academic model, innovative approach and establishment of new state-of-the art campuses in both Spain and Portugal. This investment is aligned with EQT’s approach as long term active owners of companies that provide essential services to society. We look forward to working together with the management team and Permira in this exciting next phase for the Company.”

Asís Echániz, Partner within the EQT Value-Add Infrastructure Advisory Team, and Head of Spain, added: “Universidad Europea is a leading higher education platform with a differentiated brand, a strong network of partnerships and students and an excellent track record of growth. We are excited to start working with the Company’s management team, contributing our expertise owning essential infrastructure assets, our responsible ownership principles and our local knowledge to help deliver a strong academic proposition for students seeking access to high quality education services.”

Otilia de la Fuente, CEO of Universidad Europea, commented: “With Permira as our trusted partner, we´ve achieved remarkable success over the past four years. Together, we have strengthened the quality of our academic model for our students and embarked on ambitious expansion initiatives, including the establishment of new campuses and infrastructures. None of these milestones would have been possible without the unwavering dedication and collaborative efforts of our teams. As we enter this new chapter, we extend a warm welcome to EQT and we are excited to explore the boundless opportunities that lie ahead in this extraordinary venture. Joining forces with EQT, alongside Permira, allows us to continue our journey of innovation and growth, furthering our mission of changing lives through higher education.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals. It is expected to close in Q3-Q4 2024.

EQT was advised by Deutsche Bank (financial), Allen & Overy (legal).

With this transaction, EQT Infrastructure VI is expected to be 30-35% percent invested (including closed and/or signed investments, announced public offers, if applicable, and less any expected syndication) based on target fund size.

The information contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy, any security, and may not be used or relied upon in connection with any offer or solicitation. Any offer or solicitation in respect of EQT Infrastructure VI will be made only through a confidential private placement memorandum and related documents which will be furnished to qualified investors on a confidential basis in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The information contained herein is not for publication or distribution to persons in the United States of America. Any securities referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and may not be offered or sold without registration thereunder or pursuant to an available exemption therefrom. Any offering of securities to be made in the United States would have to be made by means of an offering document that would be obtainable from the issuer or its agents and would contain detailed information about the issuer of the securities and its management, as well as financial information. The securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration.

EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com

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