Mumtalakat sells stake in US education provider

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Manama, Aug. 7 (BNA): Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has sold its stake in Nobel Learning Communities, one of the leading providers of private education in the United States (from pre-school to high school).

Nobel Learning Communities has a network of more than 190 private schools across the United States, catering to the needs of children of all ages. As one of the largest private school operators in the country, the company also operates Laurel Springs School, an accredited private online school, offering challenging college preparatory programmes for students globally.

‘Nobel Learning has grown considerably since our investment three years ago, answering the needs of more people with their quality educational programmes. On average, each additional year of education a child receives increases their adult earnings by about 10%,’ explained Mahmood H. Alkooheji, CEO of Mumtalakat.

‘Our investment in Nobel Learning reflects our optimistic outlook on the US market. While we focus on investing in sectors that address economic needs and partner with companies with robust management teams and a proven track record of growth, we are committed to continued investments in the education sector and have built a strong team of industry experts to support the growth of our portfolio companies. We continue to seek investments in different education subsectors, including private pre-K and K-12 education, vocational training, and educational support software,’ added Alkooheji.

Mumtalakat made its first investment in the education sector in 2009 when the sovereign wealth fund established an aviation academy catering to the needs of the aviation market in the Gulf region. This was followed by investments in the regional and global education sector through acquisitions in companies providing private education.

Mumtalakat acquired Nobel Learning Communities in 2015 in partnership with Investcorp, an alternative investments manager. Throughout this period, the company’s network of schools has expanded with approximately 34 new schools added through acquisitions and greenfield development. Mumtalakat sold its stake alongside Investcorp as part of the original investment plan.

Mumtalakat was created in 2006 with a mandate to grow Bahrain’s strategic non-oil and gas assets through a commercial focus. Since then, Mumtalakat has further developed and diversified its portfolio both locally and globally with an objective to generate sustainable financial and economic returns for the country. The sovereign wealth fund’s assets have grown and almost doubled from 29 to over 60 local and international companies across 11 sectors, of which 65% are in Bahrain and the region 29% are located in Europe and 6% are based in the United States today. With total consolidated assets valued at US $15.4 billion at the close of 2017, Mumtalakat plays an important role in the national economy through its strategic assets while seeking commercially viable investment opportunities in growth sectors. Mumtalakat provides approximately 14,000 direct job opportunities in Bahrain within its local portfolio companies.