September 3, 2018 / 12:42 PM / a year ago

Switzerland's Jacobs Holding to acquire schools group Cognita

FILE PHOTO: A young girl looks at school stationery in a supermarket in Nice August 23, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - The investment firm for Switzerland’s wealthy Jacobs family has agreed to acquire global private schools group Cognita from Bregal Investments and KKR (KKR.N), the partners said on Monday, without giving financial terms.

Sky News had reported last week the deal was worth 2 billion pounds ($2.57 billion).

Cognita operates more than 70 schools in eight countries, including Britain, Singapore, Chile and Brazil, educating more than 40,000 children, a joint statement said.

Cognita was formed in 2004 by private equity firm Bregal and the late Chris Woodhead, the former chief inspector of schools in England. KKR took a 50 percent stake in 2013.

The transaction was set to complete in the fourth quarter of 2018 subject to regulatory approvals.

Goldman Sachs International (GS.N) and Barclays advised Bregal Investments and KKR, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) advised Jacobs Holding, the investment firm founded in 1994 by entrepreneur Klaus Jacobs.

Jacobs Holding’s beneficiary is the charitable Jacobs Foundation, a charity focused on child development and learning.

The Jacobs family controls Barry Callebaut (BARN.S), which Klaus Jacobs also founded. Zurich-based Barry is the world’s biggest cocoa manufacturer and produces chocolate for Nestle NESN.VX and Mondelez (MDLZ.O), among others.

($1 = 0.7770 pounds)

Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Louise Heavens

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