DUBAI Feb 26 Emerging markets-focused private
equity firm Abraaj Group acquired Middlesex University's
overseas campus in Dubai, sources familiar with the matter said,
in a sign of increased interest from buyout firms in the Middle
East's education sector.
In June, Abraaj was chosen by shareholders of the university
campus, which is owned by individual investors in the United
Arab Emirates and operated by London's Middlesex University, as
a preferred bidder and was invited to conduct due
The deal closed at the end of January, sources told Reuters,
with Abraaj paying 11 times earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortization. The deal value was not disclosed.
Dubai-based Abraaj declined to comment when contacted by
Reuters, while Middlesex University Dubai did not respond to
queries for comment.
Middlesex University Dubai's earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortization were about $6.8 million
last year, the sources said in September. The deal would have
closed at about $74.8 million, according to Reuters
Private universities in Dubai are beginning to attract the
attention of private equity players. Investors in recent years
have acquired schools, a fast growing sector amid a wealthy and
The Dubai campus opened in 2005 and has more than 2,500
students, offering a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate
programmes, according to its website.
(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Saeed Azhar and Kim