Ardian-Backed AD Education Acquires SAE Institute’s European Operations

February 11, 2022

Willkie advised Ardian and portfolio company AD Education on the acquisition.

On February 10, Willkie client AD Education, a portfolio company of Ardian, announced its acquisition of the European operations of SAE Institute, a leader in audiovisual and creative media higher education, from Navitas.

The acquisition is expected to enable AD Education, a leading European higher education platform, to expand into six new countries and to enhance its course offerings in audiovisual arts, while also facilitating the future roll-out of additional AD Education programs. SAE Institute's European operations include 22 campuses in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium and the Netherlands. The joint company will teach more than 22,000 students in 10 countries in Europe, with combined revenues close to €200 million.

Willkie previously advised Ardian on its acquisition of a majority stake in AD Education.

Founded in 2009, AD Education is a European higher education platform specialized in arts, digital and audiovisual, teaching more than 18,000 students in 14 schools on 44 campuses in France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Ardian is a leading private investment house with $125 billion of assets managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

The Willkie team was led by partners Eduardo Fernandez and Philip Coletto and included partner Gil Kiener and associates William Buchanan and Sarah Bibas.