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The owners of GEMS Education, one of the world's largest private school operators, are exploring options including the sale of a controlling stake in the business.

CVC Capital Partners may sell their stake in the school operator in a deal that could value the business at as much as $6 billion, according to people who are not authorized to speak about the matter.

Middle Eastern wealth funds are looking at the business. The owners are working with two investment banks to find a buyer.

The owners are considering an initial public offering as a possible exit route, though the preferred option is a sale at the moment, according to the people. There is no certainty that CVC and Varkey will go ahead with the stake sales.

The representative for Morgan Stanley wouldn't speak. A person for Goldman Sachs couldn't be reached.

Education Assets

Financial investors are interested in expanding in the education sector. Stonepeak Partners will invest 1 billion euro in UK private schools operator inspired education.

Parents in the U.S. spend more on educating their children than any other country, contributing to a lot of private schools. Demand has been helped by expatriates coming to the emirate.

More than 130,000 students are taught by more than 60 schools in the Middle East and North Africa by the Global Education Management System. Its website says it has schools in Asia, Europe and North America. CVC purchased a stake in the company.

Varkey tried to sell some of his stake in GEMS in 2020, but couldn't find a buyer due to the Pandemic. The firm had considered a stock market listing in the future, but that plan was put on hold by the freeze of school fees in the city.

Julia and Ruth David assisted.