Sunny Varkey, founder and chairman of Gems Education. The firm is preparing for an IPO, sources say. Gems Education
Sunny Varkey, founder and chairman of Gems Education. The firm is preparing for an IPO, sources say. Gems Education

Dubai-based GEMS Education said to move ahead on IPO

GEMS Education is set to move ahead with an initial public offering, rebuffing interest from a private equity firm for a stake in the school operator backed by Blackstone Group according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The Dubai-based education provider may announce plans as early as this week to list in London, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. GEMS owners - founder Sunny Varkey, Blackstone, Fajr Capital and Bahrain's Mumtalakat Holding - had been approached by a private equity company to buy a stake, they said.


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GEMS targets higher income from students and enrollment in 2018 financial year

Indian pupils in Dubai among top scorers globally 


GEMS planned to hire investment banks including Bank of America, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan. and Emirates NBD to manage the IPO, people familiar with the matter said in December. The company could be valued at about $4 billion or more, people said last year. A spokesman for GEMS said the company doesn't comment on rumours or speculation.
IPOs have become more popular in the UAE with Abu Dhabi's oil giant and Dubai's biggest property developer selling shares in units. Middle East-based billionaire Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty hired Evercore to advise on a potential share sale for his financial-services company, people said this month.
By contrast, international buyout firms have made limited investments in the region due to the size and political sensitivity around deals, according to a 2017 report by the Mena Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

The bio

Studied up to grade 12 in Vatanappally, a village in India’s southern Thrissur district

Was a middle distance state athletics champion in school

Enjoys driving to Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah with family

His dream is to continue working as a social worker and help people

Has seven diaries in which he has jotted down notes about his work and money he earned

Keeps the diaries in his car to remember his journey in the Emirates

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