July 2, 2020

Actis-backed Education group acquires Nigerian University

Yemisi Okunowo

Honoris United Universities, an Actis backed pan-African education group with universities in Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritius, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia has made its entry into West Africa, through Africa’s largest economy, with the acquisition of Nile University of Nigeria.

Nile University, previously owned by First Surat Nigerian Ltd, owners of Nigerian Tulip Schools, is a private university located in Abuja, Nigeria. It was established in 2009 and currently has over 3,600 students (undergraduate and postgraduate), 26 undergraduate programs across six faculties, and 36 postgraduate programs across five faculties. This acquisition expects to see Nile University establish a connection with Honoris United University’s network of over 45,000 students and 11 institutions across 10 countries in Northern and Southern Africa. 

Actis-backed Education group acquires Nigerian University
Actis-backed Education group acquires Nigerian University

The decline in the value of the Naira and the deplorable state of public-funded universities (with some universities reporting lecturer and student ratios of over 1:100) has increased demand by parents who require educational institutions that meet international standards and are still located within the country. Thus, preparing a case for investment in Nigeria’s education system.

Private Equity investment in Nigeria’s education sector is not new. In July 2017, Verod Capital, through its educational investment vehicle, Oreon Education, acquired a stake in Greensprings School adding to their portfolio which already included Rainbow College and Pampers Private School, all offering a blend of British and Nigerian curricula. 

The CEO, Honoris United University, Luis Lopez said: 

“As we welcome the Nile University of Nigeria to the Honoris family of higher education institutions, we are undertaking an important step forward in our pan-African goal of widening access to quality higher education for young people in the continent. I look forward to the contributions Honoris United Universities and Nile University of Nigeria will bring to our communities throughout Nigeria.”

Actis, a key private equity investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America also plays a significant role in Africa’s Real estate market with developments such as Douala Grand Mall, Ikeja City Mall, Heritage Place, The Exchange among others. 

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