UK-based private equity (PE) firm Palamon Capital Partners is sounding out bidders for its Italian portfolio company Business School24, two sources familiar with the situation said.
The vendor is approaching PEs potentially interested in this dossier, the sources said, adding that early-stage talks are ongoing with some suitors.
No sellside advisors have been engaged to work on the deal, the sources said. Business School24 has a score of 22, according to Mergermarket's Likely to Exit (LTE) predictive algorithm.*
Management is keen to sell the whole business, which generated more than EUR 50m revenue in 2022 with a strong EBITDA margin profile, the sources said. It reported EUR 40m turnover in 2021, according to press reports.
The sponsor’s investment in this company has reached its maturity, the sources said. Palamon acquired a 49% stake in the Italy-based education and services unit of Il Sole 24 Ore in 2017, per local media, growing its stake to 51% the following year.
At the time of the deal in 2016, the company posted EUR 20.9m on EUR 4.7m EBITDA. In 2019, the fund took over the remaining 49%, and the total investment in the asset reached EUR 64m, according to press reports. The transaction did not include events division of the company, which was carved out and retained by Il Sole 24 Ore.
In July 2021, Business School24 issued two bonds for a total value of EUR 19m to further strengthen its positioning in the education sector, and accelerate its growth and digital development, according to a press release.
Established in 1991, Business School24 organises post-graduate degrees, training, specialisation and improvement courses for young people, managers and professionals, both in classrooms and online. It enrolls more than 26,000 students per year. The company, based in Milan, generated EUR 22.2m with EUR 6.3m EBITDA in 2019.
Neither Palamon nor Business School24 returned requests for comment.
*Based on a number of key industry, holding behaviour, and dealflow criteria, Mergermarket's next-generation platform assigns a Likely to Exit (LTE) score to each exit opportunity, with a higher score corresponding to a higher likelihood for an imminent transaction.