Addax Bank Acquires Education Company in UAE through Affiliate

Date : 17 March 2009

Bahrain-based Addax Bank, a premier private equity institution focused on investments in the MENA region, announced today the acquisition of Al Maaref School in Dubai, UAE, through its associate company, First Education Holding (FEH).

FEH is the Bank’s education platform, focused on acquiring and managing schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12 across the MENA region, with investments to date of approximately $40 million.

This acquisition is in line with Addax Bank’s strategy to invest in high growth, non-cyclical sectors such as education, food and beverage, and hospitality. These sectors have shown strong resilience to economic downturns and challenging market conditions, thereby providing attractive returns.

The investment potential of the private education sector in the MENA region is driven by a young and growing demographic that will require access to schooling and higher education, a demand for an educated work force with a higher skill set, and public policy initiatives encouraging private sector participation.

Al Maaref School will be the third acquisition in 12 months, preceded by The Baby Academy in Egypt and Al Zahour School in Sharjah, UAE.

According to Mr. Yousef Al Essa, CEO of Addax Bank and Chairman of FEH: “The strong performance of our education platform illustrates the success of the Bank’s strategy to establish regional platforms in select sectors, and highlights the Bank’s execution capabilities and its ability to create long term value”.

 “There is significant growth ahead, given our strong proprietary pipeline of investments which are in excess of US$100 million across the MENA region,” Mr. Al Essa added.