EQT to Privatize Benesse Holdings in $1 Billion Deal

Swedish investment company EQT has announced its plans to take Japanese education services provider Benesse Holdings private in a deal worth over $1 billion. To accomplish this, EQT will be partnering with the founding family of Benesse.

EQT revealed on Friday that one of its funds will spend $1.37 billion to acquire Benesse shares through a tender offer as part of a management buyout. The tender offer is expected to begin in early February. Benesse has expressed its support for EQT’s offer and has recommended that shareholders tender their shares.

The EQT fund aims to obtain all outstanding shares, with the exception of a 17% stake held by two entities associated with the founding family. The offer is being made in consultation with Benesse’s former president Soichiro Fukutake and director Hideaki Fukutake, who are both part of the founding family.

Benesse is a provider of education services and also operates nursing care homes in Japan. With over 16,000 employees, it generated a net profit of ¥11.35 billion on revenue of ¥411.88 billion in the fiscal year ended March.

EQT intends to leverage its expertise in developing education and elderly care services worldwide to accelerate Benesse’s growth. The increasing demand for adult training, reskilling, and online learning for children is driving the growth of Japan’s education sector. Additionally, the nursing care sector is benefiting from Japan’s aging population.

The tender offer price is ¥2,600 per share. Following the reports of the potential buyout, Benesse shares closed 6.5% higher on Friday at ¥1,908.0.

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