Hassana and GEMS Education Acquire Saudi Arabia’s Largest Private School Operator

GEMS Education and Hassana plan to build a significant portfolio of more than 50 schools

Date: 30 May 2019

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: GEMS Education, among the world’s oldest and largest K-12 private education providers, and Hassana Investment Company, the investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI), have formalised a joint venture to enhance and grow the education sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Under terms of the JV, GEMS Education and Hassana plan to build a significant portfolio of more than 50 schools and provide high-quality education to more than 100,000 students across the Kingdom.

As an initial step, the JV partners signed an agreement to acquire the Ma’arif Education Group, the largest private school owner and operator in Saudi Arabia. The schools consist of both national and international schools across the Kingdom and have more than 22,000 students enrolled.

Dino Varkey, CEO, GEMS Education said: “We are delighted that we have formalised our joint venture with Hassana, who are the perfect partners to align with the government’s vision to build capacity, enhance educational standards and create jobs in the education sector in Saudi Arabia. The Ma’arif acquisition of 14 schools is an ideal platform from which to grow and we are incredibly excited about further expansion in the country. Saudi is one of the most attractive growth markets for GEMS Education and we are committed to supporting the education sector in the country.”

Majed Al Mutairi, Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education, KSA added: “We look forward to working with teachers, students and parents who are currently enrolled in Ma’arif schools and are excited about welcoming new families. With the public and private sector working together, we can help improve the standard of education in the country and enhance human capital development.”

Saad Al-Fadly, CEO, Hassana Investment Company said: “The joint venture between Hassana and GEMS is a formalization of our ambitious plan to invest in the education sector in Saudi Arabia. The joint venture aims at generating strong returns on investment over the long term whilst providing best-of-class education services. We believe that the combination of GEMS experience and successful track record in the education sector and Hassana’s strengths as a Saudi institutional investor gives the joint venture an unrivalled competitive advantage. We have been working closely with GEMS team and we are delighted to formalize the partnership today”.