The parent company of the teachers’ bible, the Times Education Supplement, is to be broken up and sold off by its private equity backers.
Sky News has learnt that TPG Capital, the American private equity firm, has hired investment bankers ?from Macquarie Capital to orchestrate the disposal of TES Global’s higher education division (THE).
The unit includes Times Higher Education, the weekly magazine which reports on news and issues related to the post-18 education sector.
City sources said the THE? operations were being carved out and sold separately because of their prospective attractiveness to potential buyers as a standalone business.
The remainder of TES Global’s ?business, which includes the magazine previously called The Times Education Supplement, is expected to be sold separately in the coming months.
Jefferies, the investment bank, is being lined up to oversee that auction although it has yet to be formally hired, according to people close to the situation.
It was unclear on Wednesday what TPG’s valuation expectations are for the two parts of TES Global’s business.
THE focuses on university students while TES Global’s other operations relate to the education of children aged between 5 and 12.
The buyout firm, which has endured a difficult time in the UK recently as a consequence of its investments in restaurant chain Prezzo and discount retailer Poundworld,? was reported to have paid £400m for TES Global in 2013.
The ?education group is a fast-growing international company which has roughly 7m registered users – making it the world’s largest online teaching community.
Based in London, it employs more than 600 people.
The company was once owned by the publisher of The Times newspaper, before being sold to Exponent, a private equity firm, in 2005.
It has since been through? two further periods of private equity ownership and has been a lucrative investment for its previous financial backers.
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TES Global is run by Rob Grimshaw, a former Financial Times executive who was recruited because of his track record helping to grow its digital readership.
A TPG spokeswoman declined to comment.