New owner for Times Higher Education

Inflexion acquires company from TPG Capital

March 1, 2019
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Times Higher Education has been sold to private equity firm Inflexion, becoming a stand-alone business for the first time.

The deal follows THE’s carve-out from its parent company TES Global, and chief executive Trevor Barratt said that it would facilitate a new phase of development and growth.

It also secured the company’s “continued independence” as a trusted provider of data, news and analysis, and events for global higher education, he said.

THE was previously owned by US-based TPG Capital, and along with its long-time stable partner Tes has been owned by a series of private equity firms since 2005.

Inflexion is a leading London-based private equity firm, whose portfolio of companies includes Chambers and Partners, provider of data, rankings and practice guides for the legal sector.

Mr Barratt, who has been CEO of THE since 2014, said: “Securing an owner that wholly respects our core mission has been extremely important to the whole team here – I know we’ve achieved that.  

THE is at an exciting stage in its development and the team has achieved unprecedented global growth over the past two years. Importantly, we’ve done this without compromising on our independence, the standard of work for which we’re known, or the values that drive us, and that won’t change.

“Already, Inflexion has demonstrated a deep respect for our dedication to serving the global higher education community – the sale means we progress with continued independence, and with an owner exceptionally well placed to help us build on our successes across each area of our work.”

Inflexion said it was looking forward to working with THE’s management team to further develop its work helping universities to improve their performance, as well as attract students, recruit academic talent and secure funding. This would include a focus on “enhancing the company’s digital offering and continuing the expansion into new international markets,” it said in a press statement.

Simon Turner, managing partner at Inflexion, said: “Times Higher Education has an excellent brand and an exceptionally driven management team.

“By carving the business out, we can firmly focus on building its core strengths, namely through enhancing its digital presence and continuing its global expansion, particularly in the US and Asia.

“We look forward to working with management to build upon the strong foundations they’ve created.”

The deal encompasses THE’s wide range of activities including its data, editorial, summits, hiring, branding and consultancy services. The sale follows a period of significant growth, in which THE has transitioned from being a primarily UK-focused media company to a global data and insights business working with around 700 universities across the world.

Tes has been sold separately to private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.

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