Apax Partners to Sell INSEEC U., a Leading European Private Higher Education Group

Apax Partners, the Paris-based private equity firm, has entered into a binding agreement to sell INSEEC U., a leading European private higher education group.

Since its investment in December 2013, Apax Partners has helped INSEEC U. grow from a collection of reputable schools into a unique, structured and coherent education platform offering multi-disciplinary academic programmes and increased employability to over 25,000 students in France and abroad.

Over the last five years, Apax Partners has worked hand-in-hand with management to:

  • Broaden the course base and expand the range of programmes offered;
  • Create centres of excellence around French specialities, including luxury goods, wine & spirits, digital marketing and sports management courses;
  • Reposition and define an international expansion plan for each of the 16 schools and reinforce their national and international accreditation level;
  • Centralise and expand faculty members’ research and publishing activities;
  • Actively pursue new school acquisitions, completing the most attractive ones, such as CREA Genève and the five French schools of Laureate Education Group in 2016;
  • Expand its offering into engineering and on-line programmes;
  • Foster a strong sense of corporate social responsibility (CSR), to which students and prospects are nowadays particularly sensitive;
  • Rationalise real estate and invest in state-of-the-art, multi-school campuses;
  • Open campuses in San Francisco, Shanghai and Geneva to offer students increased international exposure;
  • Create an umbrella brand, INSEEC U.;
  • Implement world-class governance; and
  • Initiate a digital transformation plan.

Under Apax Partners’ ownership, INSEEC U. has emerged as a leading education group with French-roots providing accredited higher education and increased employability to thousands of new students every year.

INSEEC U. is now a unique platform offering a solid base upon which to further develop programmes internationally and through a larger set of academic disciplines.

Bertrand Pivin, Partner at Apax Partners, commented: “Higher education has profoundly evolved in recent years. Student expectations have increased dramatically and French schools must now compete against an ever-increasing set of international offerings. We are proud to have worked hand-in-hand with management to create a French-rooted higher education platform capable of attracting 25,000 students every year and providing them with the skills and academic knowledge which will allow them to meet their future employers’ expectations.”

Catherine Lespine, CEO of INSEEC U., added: “Being at the helm of INSEEC U. for more than 16 years, I know how continuous innovation and evolution are essential drivers for success. My colleagues and I share the same vision for the new INSEEC U. Higher education and research should be multi-disciplinary and deeply rooted in society: new students, new teaching methods, new fields, new training and new research. We also share common values: innovation, high academic standards, team spirit, audacious thinking, creativity, international development, digital and CSR. Major strategic decisions have been made over the last five years, and I am particularly grateful to Apax Partners for having supported our choices and ambition. With this solid foundation in place, the INSEEC U. community enters a new and exciting chapter which should be a fantastic one!”


About Inseec U.: 

INSEEC U. (United, Unique and Universal) is the new name of INSEEC. By bringing together “Grandes Ecoles” and a broad range of specialized programs (Management, Engineering, Communication, Digital, Political Sciences…). By combining remote and face-to-face trainings (thanks to 9 campuses in Europe, USA and China; and to the use of digital technologies).Gathered around the values of freedom, social responsibility and quality, INSEEC U. schools work together in synergy with a constant objective of openness, consistency and employability.INSEEC U. supports social transformations by training both students and employees throughout their professional life.


Source: Apax Partners

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