Marking its first investment in the African education sector, Investec Asset Management, through its African Private Equity capability, has acquired a controlling stake in Richfield Holdings, one of the leading private sector tertiary education providers in South Africa.
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 Ramnundlall to 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.”
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 last year.