The largest Hungarian private college with 7,000 students has been sold to the Warsaw-based CEE Equity Partners. LKT advised the Hungarian sellers.
„Following many years of steady growth, BKF has now reached a stage from where further dynamic growth requires significant additional capital. We have found the right partner for that in CEE Equity. We are fully aligned with CEE Equity as regards our growth strategy, which we are looking to implement with the present management and staff” , said Budapest Communication College’s founder Árpád Herbst, who will continue to actively participate in shaping and developing the institution's strategy.
BKF provides education on two faculties, in four main fields of study (communication, business, tourism, art), at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. The university has around 7,000 students. Since 2011, courses are held not only in Budapest but also in Hódmezővásárhely, at BKF's Regional Knowledge Center. BKF maintains professional ties with over 70 institutions in 25 countries, including UK, US and Chinese institutions.
CEE sees considerable growth potential in BKF. "We are convinced that the result of our joint effort will be a Budapest based regional market leader in private higher education, with a corresponding increase in business value," said Tamás Szalai, partner of CEE. "We contribute not only capital but also our regional network to facilitate regional acquisitions, and our experience how to further institutionalize BKF, he added.
CEE Equity Partners manages USD 500m. The fund was established by China Exim Bank in partnership with other investors from the Central and Eastern European region including the Hungarian Eximbank. CEE focuses on Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the Balkan and, on investments ranging from USD 20m to USD 75m with a targeted holding period of 3 to 7 years. The Fund focuses on targets in infrastructure, utilities including energy and telecom, specialty manufacturing and industrial services. CEE has completed three deals in 2014. The Fund operates from offices in Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest.
LKT partner Péter Lakatos and counsel Iván Sólyom advised the sellers on the negotiations and conclusions of the sale. Péter Lakatos, LKT Managing Partner, commented: “We were pleased to work for the selling shareholders on this exciting transaction. The transaction showcases Budapest as a ‘know how hub’ and the growing levels of Chinese interest and investment in Hungary.”