The Global Education Specialists


Bright Scholar to acquire CATS Colleges from Bridgepoint and Cambridge Education Group

Tue 9 Jul 2019 < Back to listing

Cambridge Education Group ("CEG") and its private equity owner, Bridgepoint, today announced that they had agreed to sell the CATS Colleges Division ("CATS Colleges") of CEG to Bright Scholar, the largest operator of international and bilingual schools in China, in a transaction totalling £150 million.

CATS Colleges is an international school network focussed primarily on international students with a globally integrated platform of campuses in the UK, North America and China. It comprises six campuses in Cambridge, London, Canterbury, Shanghai and Boston, plus an arts school in Cambridge, as well as 10 international languages schools. It has a diverse mix of students across 80 nationalities.

Mr. Jerry He, Executive Vice Chairman of Bright Scholar comments:

"The acquisition of CATS expands Bright Scholar's significant presence outside of China as we continue to build a global network of premium schools. Founded in 1952, CATS has grown into one of the most innovative and successful independent education providers in the United Kingdom and the United States. We share the same beliefs in combining traditional values and forward-thinking ideas to help our students realize their potential. The addition of CATS’s international network of schools will help Bright Scholar share best practices and innovations to raise the standards of teaching and improve the learning experience of our students. This acquisition will also set the stage for accelerating the expansion of our overseas school portfolio, distinguishing us as a global premium education service provider."

Michael Ioakimides, CEO of CEG, said:

"We wish Bright Scholar and our CATS Colleges colleagues continued success. Our focus will now be on the future development prospects and accelerated growth of the businesses both CEG and Bridgepoint retain after this disposal: our university pathways business (ONCAMPUS) and our Digital business which delivers online and blended university programmes.

"At ONCAMPUS, we want to continue the recent trend of outstanding organic growth. In Digital, the platform of 1,000 students will be used to launch further programmes and sign new partners. CEG continues to enjoy the backing of Bridgepoint."

Chris Bell, partner at Bridgepoint, added:

"CATS Colleges was formed to bring together the worldwide expertise of CATS, Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts (CSVPA) and Stafford House International brands within one operating division.

"Over the five years of Bridgepoint ownership, these brands have performed well and delivered strong financial results, while also building a track record of outstanding academic results. Bright Scholar is a logical owner of CATS Colleges as they look to increase their global footprint."

CATS Colleges will continue to be run by David Newton and his management team. They will build on the work they have already been doing to create an operating model for the long-term growth of this focussed colleges business.

In acquiring CATS Colleges, Bright Scholar will accelerate the growth of all three of these established operating brands in a range of strong international markets, including China.

There will also be opportunities to continue the work to create synergies in the management and running of all the brands within CATS Colleges and allow greater focus on the continued improvement of excellent student outcomes and business growth.

Bridgepoint acquired CEG in 2013. The sale of CATS Colleges is scheduled to complete by the end of July.

Advisers involved in this transaction included:

For Bridgepoint/CEG: Travers (Legal), Moelis & Company (M&A), Baird (M&A), PwC (Financial and Tax), L.E.K. (Commercial)

For Bright Scholar: White & Case (Legal), Deloitte (Financial and Tax)

For media enquiries:

Cambridge Education Group
Matthew Moth/Michael Evans
Phone: +44 (0) 207 593 4000
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7770 381 263 or +44 (0) 7881 558 499
Email: or

James Murray
Phone: +44 (0) 207 034 3555

Bright Scholar
Phone: +86-757-6683-2507

Further Background information:

CEG (ONCAMPUS & Digital)

ONCAMPUS teach pre-university programmes with opportunity for guaranteed progression to a wide range of undergraduate and Master’s degrees at a range of Universities across the US, UK and mainland Europe. For further information visit:

Working closely with partner universities, CEG Digital helps create, market and deliver part-time online and blended University programmes to students around the world. It uses cutting-edge technology, sector-leading pedagogy, and first-class student support to provide an outstanding educational experience. For further information visit:

CATS Colleges

CATS Colleges comprises CATS international high schools in UK, US and China, Stafford House English language schools in UK, US and Canada and CSVPA (Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts). Programmes range from GCSE, A-Level, University Foundation Programme, High school diploma, to undergraduate and post-graduate studies. Facilities include both academic and boarding in purpose-designed campuses to accommodate students from a global environment and provide world-class support both academic and pastoral to ensure success.

Bright Scholar

Bright Scholar is the largest operator of international and bilingual K-12 schools in China*. The Company is dedicated to providing quality international education to Chinese students and equipping them with the critical academic foundation and skillsets necessary to succeed in the pursuit of higher education overseas. Bright Scholar also complements its international offerings with Chinese government-mandated curriculum for students who wish to maintain the option of pursuing higher education in China. As of February 28, 2019, Bright Scholar operated 69 schools covering the breadth of K-12 academic needs of its students across nine provinces in China and one overseas school. In the first six months of the 2019 school year ended February 28, 2019, Bright Scholar had an average of 42,035 students enrolled at its schools.

* In terms of student enrollment as of February 28, 2019, according to an industry report commissioned by Bright Scholar and prepared by Frost & Sullivan in 2019.

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