LONDON, April 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Sovereign Capital, the UK private equity Buy & Build specialist, is pleased to announce that the newly named 'Astrum Education Group' ("Astrum Education"), which currently comprises three leading independent sixth form colleges in Central London, acquired by Sovereign in 2012, has appointed Glenn Hawkins as Chief Executive and Roger Bird as Finance Director; both Hawkins and Bird were part of the highly successful Sovereign Capital backed Alpha Plus Group management team. In addition Astrum Education is set to open a new state of the art facility in Central London in September 2013.
Glenn Hawkins joins from Cambridge Education Group Colleges ("CEGC"), the leading provider of international pre-university programmes in the UK and USA. He was Managing Director of CEGC, growing the Group's sixth form CATS colleges from 500 to 1,300 students; this included opening CATS College London. Prior to this Glenn was Group Sales and Marketing Director at Sovereign Capital backed Alpha Plus Group, having joined as Principal of one of the Group's colleges, Abbey Cambridge. Glenn has a proven track record, in UK and international markets, of delivering strong growth in student numbers and focusing on strong academic performance. In addition, Roger Bird has been appointed to the management team as Finance Director. Roger, who was a University Economics Lecturer in his earlier career, was also Finance Director at Alpha Plus where he worked on delivering Sovereign's Buy & Build strategy.
Astrum Education Group comprises three sixth form colleges: Duff Miller in Kensington, Lansdowne College in Bayswater and Chelsea Independent College. The new four floor state of the art premises in Fulham Broadway, which will form part of Chelsea Independent College, represents the first significant investment for the Group and will increase student capacity from 750 to approaching 1,000.
Glenn Hawkins, Chief Executive, Astrum Education Group commented: "I am delighted to be heading this newly created schools group and to be working, again, with Sovereign Capital. Demand for independent sixth form education in the UK, from both home and overseas students, has continued to rise over the last few years. In addition, we believe there are a number of opportunities to develop the Group by expanding into primary and secondary provision.
Sovereign is the leading private equity investor in the education sector; with their strategic input, and funding, Alpha Plus grew from 11 to 17 schools, during their ownership, covering the spectrum from nurseries to sixth form colleges. Today's overseas market is very strong; given the quality of our offering and investment in our facilities, we look forward to welcoming more overseas students in 2013."
Michael Needley, Partner, Sovereign Capital commented:
"We are delighted to welcome both Glenn and Roger to Astrum, both of whom have a wealth of experience in the schools market. Glen uniquely brings both an academic and commercial perspective having worked for both traditional UK Schools and international Colleges. It's fantastic to be working again with a proven management team to build the Group through Sovereign's strategy of organic and acquisitive growth."
Notes to editors:
All of the Astrum Education Group colleges achieved strong OFSTED Report ratings: Both Lansdowne College and Duff Miller received an 'Outstanding' accreditation. The colleges are also ranked within the top quartile of all schools in the UK for their value added (Source: Department for Education) and have a good reputation for academic quality delivered at competitive fee rates. The average teacher to pupil ratio is 1:7. These small class sizes encourage participation and debate within the classroom, while allowing staff to focus closely on individual tuition and maintain academic rigour and discipline.
Sovereign Capital, the UK private equity Buy & Build specialist, has a strong track record and specific expertise in the service based sectors of education & training, healthcare and business support services. Sovereign Capital is focused on investing in lower mid-market UK consolidators requiring up to £50m of equity. Sovereign's education and training portfolio covers the spectrum from primary schools through to higher education and includes international schools group, World Class Learning and vocational skills provider and modern music further and higher education provider BIMM.
For further information contact:
Julie Sieger, Sovereign Capital: +44(0)20-7340-8800
SOURCE Sovereign Capital