19 November 2007

BDA advises U21Global on sale of Cengage’s 50% stake to Manipal Universal Learning International

Divested Cengage's 50% stake and placement of shares Manipal Universal Learning


Business Development Asia LLC (“BDA”) is pleased to announce that Manipal Universal Learning International (“MULI”), part of Manipal Education Group, has acquired a 50% stake in U21Global, the world’s premier online graduate school, by purchasing the holding of Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning). U21Global provides quality post-graduate education globally through flexible eLearning delivery. The graduate school launched its flagship international MBA programme in 2003 and now has more than 4,000 students representing over 60 countries. U21Global will continue to operate headquartered out of Singapore.

Sir Colin Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Directors of U21Global and President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said “This investment will chart an exciting new chapter in U21Global’s continued growth and expansion in the region and globally. With the success that the group has created in the field of education, MULI’s international experience brings great value and synergies into U21Global.”

Anand Sudarshan, CEO and MD of MULI, said, “This investment is reflective of our continuing commitment to make education valuable, available, accessible and affordable. U21Global is a quality institution with excellent faculty and administration, making it an attractive addition to the Manipal Education brand portfolio. We believe U21Global offers significant growth opportunities, particularly when combined with other Manipal resources.”

BDA acted as exclusive financial advisor to the Board of U21Global on this transaction.

About U21Global

Established in 2001, U21Global is the world’s premier online Graduate School that offers globally recognized graduate programmes. The graduate school is backed by an international network of 20 leading research-intensive universities in 12 countries. U21Global combines the traditional quality of its founders with innovative modes of delivery on the Internet, providing students with substantial learning advantages, while balancing work, travel and family life. U21Global has successfully enrolled students from 60 countries around the world including those from Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

About Manipal Education

Manipal Education is an academic and education services provider from India. The group includes two universities, Manipal University & Sikkim Manipal University, and over 30 other institutions in India, besides colleges and university campuses in Antigua, Dubai, Malaysia and Nepal. Manipal Education currently has over 125,000 students from over 52 countries, of which about 25,000 students study at institutions and overseas campuses in India and abroad, while over 100,000 students undertake distance education, delivered using a blended approach including both satellite-based lectures and local coaching at 450 learning centres in India and overseas. Manipal Education also offers online testing and assessment for academic as well as corporate clients, and has recently launched professional education for service sectors like financial services, IT, media and retail.

About BDA

Business Development Asia LLC was founded in 1996. BDA assists multinational corporate and financial sector clients to identify and execute acquisitions, divestments, JVs, restructuring and capital raising, in Asia and internationally. The company is headquartered in New York with offices in London, Bahrain, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo. BDA employs 55 full-time professional staff across its eight offices, supplemented by a team of senior advisors around the world. BDA’s client list includes Air Products, Apar Industries, Cadbury Schweppes, Celestica, DIC, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Ecolab, Global Power, Godrej, Great Lakes, Hanjin Shipping, Hercules, Huntsman, Inabata, Johnson Controls, Kimberly-Clark, Lear, Lubrizol, Mars, Molex, Morgan Stanley, Nalco, Reuters, Rohm & Haas, Ryder, Siemens, SigmaKalon, Sumitomo Chemical, Sun Chemical, TATA Auto Components, Tenneco, Tredegar, Visteon, WR Grace, and the British Government. Further information on BDA is available at www.bdapartners.com

BDA Transaction Team:

Andrew Huntley, Managing Director, London, ahuntley@bdallc.com
Paul DiGiacomo, Director, Head of Hong Kong office, pdigiacomo@bdallc.com
Shariq Siddiqui, Senior Associate, London, ssiddiqui@bdallc.com
Suva Deep Gupta, Associate, Mumbai, sgupta@bdallc.com
Jason Song, Associate, New York, jsong@bdallc.com

For more information regarding this transaction, please contact Rohit Singh in Mumbai on (91) 22 2643 0290, Andrew Huntley in London on (44) 20 7655 3500, or Paul DiGiacomo in Hong Kong on (852) 2537 9565.