Catherine Lespine

Leading private education Group in France.


Sector: Services Investment date: 2013 Apax position: Majority Activity: MidMarket
Why did we invest?

Groupe INSEEC is a leading for-profit post-secondary education provider in France with several key strengths: agility and innovation in programme development, sound governance, cost efficiency, marketing skills, attractive and multi-site campuses, programme diversity and no dependency on subsidies.

Growing in volume and price, and ripe for consolidation, the for-profit higher education market is attractive and has strong market intrinsics: counter-cyclicality, barriers to entry, revenue visibility, no working capital needs, high profitability and high cash conversion.

How do we intend to create value?

The investment thesis consists in growing the existing core business by fostering further academic excellence, increasing the attractiveness of its schools and expanding market share through new programme offerings. Programmes are being internationalised and expanded to other countries through new campuses and exchange programmes.

Opening of a San Francisco campus


  • Inauguration of the Luxury Business Institute Shanghai
  • Development of an agreement for a dual-degree programme between Luxury Business Institute Seoul and the International University of Monaco.
  • Signature of three agreements in China with the Chinese Ministry of Culture, Jiao Tong University and Shanghai University of Sport.
  • Signature of numerous agreements in India with top-tier universities (Punjabi University), and in Europe, Thailand and Saudi Arabia, benefiting all of the Group’s programmes.

Transformative acquisition of the Laureate group, which consists of a professional development body (IFG) and four schools: two management schools, ESCE and EBS; ECE, an engineering school; and HEIP, a political science and international relations school.

Acquisition of the CREA digital communication school in Geneva.

INNOV INSEEC and its five incubators in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, London and Geneva give students the resources they need to become tomorrow’s digital entrepreneurs.

Digital training now represents around 5% of the Groupe INSEEC’s fundamental or continuing education courses. It aims to increase this percentage to 25% within three years.