Marking its first investment in the African education sector, Investec Asset Management, through its African Private Equitycapability, has acquired a controlling stake in Richfield Holdings, one of the leading private sector tertiary education providers in South Africa.

Investec Asset Management has $143 billion in assets. Its parent company is planning to spin-off and float the asset management unit on the London Stock Exchange with a secondary listing in Johannesburg.

Founded 28 years ago, Richfield has more than 20,000 students enrolled across more than 40 campuses in South Africa, and a fast-growing distant learning offering to students from across Southern Africa. It offers courses through a number of specialist education brands, including Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology (RGIT) and the recently acquired AAA School of Advertising.

The business offers a wide range of accredited Higher Education degrees, diplomas and certificates as well as technical and vocational training (TVET) courses focused on matching the skills needs of industry with education, to promote employability. RGIT is positioned as the most affordable provider of quality tertiary education in the market, enabling increased access to students, and Richfield’s pioneering use of technology integration into blended learning has been a critical part of its ability to deliver this.

Investec Asset Management is partnering with an experienced management team led by Founder and CEO Jay Ramnundlallto expand Richfield’s course offerings, open new sites, grow the blended model of distance learning and expand into the rest of Africa.

Nick Marsh, Investment Principal at Investec Asset Management, commented: “We view the access to affordable vocational and higher education as a critical driver of development for the continent. Jay and his team have built a business with deep academic strength and a brand which is well respected by students, parents and employers. We believe the business is well positioned to capitalise on the growing demand for quality education that delivers the skills needed by employers.”

Jay Ramnundlall, Founder and CEO of Richfield says: “The need for high-quality affordable tertiary education in South Africa and beyond represents a huge opportunity for Richfield to expand its footprint and course offerings. I believe our partnership with Investec Asset Management will enable us to further expand to provide many more students with the opportunity for a quality tertiary education.”

Investec’s decision to invest in Richfield Holdings underwent a very rigorous due diligence process over the past year. The process involved an analysis of the business, various surveys, interviews, budgets and financial plans etc.

The advantages of having Investec as a partner include:

  • Opening up business opportunities with Investec multiple Companies
  • Providing funding to grow the business, products and services
  • Share Investec’s wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise
  • Contribute new ideas and solutions for business growth
  • Increase Richfield’s networks and influence in the Corporate world
  • Management of business becomes more economical and effective
  • Can lead to further mergers and acquisitions
  • Co-Branding with Investec’s campaigns

Jay Ramnundlall will continue as CEO.  In addition, and the executive management structure will not change materially. Jay has the full support of staff and the executive management, in placing the Institution on a new trajectory in terms of its growth, development, branding and image. Investec Asset Management is particularly proud of partnering with an experienced management team with a view to expand Richfield’s course offerings, open new sites, grow the blended model of distance learning and expand into the rest of Africa.

Since inception, Richfield has educated over 250 000 students and won numerous national and international awards, including the South African National Business of the Year Award in 2017.

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