ACG operated five private schools, three international colleges and four tertiary colleges over multiple campuses in New Zealand. It also operated two private schools in the emerging markets of Vietnam and Indonesia, and offered a variety of educational programmes (including University of Cambridge and International Baccalaureate), from Preschool and Kindergarten through to Primary, Middle and Senior School. It also provided pathway courses to The University of Auckland and AUT.
Waterman was attracted to the business as it was the largest private school operator in NZ with a strong platform in the emerging markets of Vietnam and Indonesia. ACG had a strong track record of growth in revenue and earnings. The investment was also underpinned by a significant property portfolio in NZ and offshore.
Within the private school sector there were very high barriers to entry and it was seen as offering significant opportunities for growth, including expansion into other areas such as tertiary education.
During the period of Waterman’s ownership revenue and EBITDA more than doubled. ACG made a significant push into the vocational space, with the establishment of the ACG Tertiary and Careers division, comprising four separate acquisitions of leading tertiary businesses. A new school was opened in Tauranga, and two campuses were merged in Vietnam creating significant synergies.